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The Pressure of High Expectations on Students Essay

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Updated: May 6th, 2022

Student years are often associated with a great deal of pressure on the learners many of whom tend to experience elevated levels of stress and anxiety related to their academic performance and high demands of the educational institutions and their communities. The students are pressured to be excellent athletes, have perfect academic records, and also act as if their achievements do not require much effort. In the article posted in New York Times in 2015, Julie Scelfo argues that due to the extremely high standards practiced in the communities of different prestigious educational institutions in the United States, many students tend to break down under pressure and commit suicides.

In the United States, the rate of suicides among students is rather high. To be more precise, according to the data provided by Emory University, about one thousand suicides are committed on the territories of the college and university campuses annually (par. 1). In fact, the research pointed out that suicide is recognized as the third leading cause of death among the teenagers over 15 years old and young adults of 24 and younger (Emory University par. 1). As a result, it is possible to conclude that college and university students are put in the conditions and environments that push them towards the decisions to end their lives.

The high levels of pressure experienced by the students are proved by the reports of the American Psychosocial Association; they point out that at least one-third of all students of universities and colleges suffer from severe depressions restricting their daily functions and academic performance for at least one year during their education periods (Novotney 36). As a result of their overwhelming levels of anxiety and depression, 30% of the students looking for the help of counselors report having thoughts about or having attempted suicides (Novotney 36).

Finally, dealing with the emotional pressure, the high academic standards, and a multitude of tasks and issues, the students are also expected to demonstrate what is known as “effortless perfection” (Yao par. 3). In other words, the students are forced to put up fake exteriors and look happy regardless of all the problems they face. It is only logical that many of the highly accomplished students attempt suicides and thus confuse the general public that does not expect the cheerful, fit, and popular high-performers to be deeply miserable on the inside.

To sum up, the culture of the colleges seems to have little to no appreciation for the extreme effort it takes the learners to be well-rounded and successful in many different areas. In that way, it can be said that there exists the need for a change in this culture for the safety of the learners.

Works Cited

Emory University. “Suicide Statistics.” Emory Cares 4 U. 2016. Web.

Novotney, Amy. “Students under pressure.” American Psychosocial Association, vol. 45, no. 8, 2014, p. 36.

Yao, Amy. The Huffington Post. 2013. Web.

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