When asked how they feel about high school, most students give surprising answers, far from what teachers or parents would expect. According to them, school is stressful, exhausting, and boring. Very few respondents report enjoying their class environment or the teachers’ approaches. The complaints show that at a national level, students don’t see the hours spent in class as productive or useful. In this article, we will investigate the causes and solutions to this problem.
A survey of over 21,000 American high school students run by researchers at Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and the Yale Child Study Center revealed that nearly 75% of the students have negative feelings regarding their high school experience. Other similar studies showed the same large percentage of dissatisfaction, regardless of the subject sample.
Overall, there have been reported a large range of negative feelings about how they spend their time in school and how school affects their activities outside the classroom’s walls. Not only that these feelings are widespread, but they are also overwhelmingly intense. Exhaustion, stress, and boredom seem to afflict students on a regular basis, creating an emotional barrier between their desires, their academic goals, and the responsibilities they are supposed to fulfill. These negative feelings end up affecting their academic performance and well-being.
Why do students experience negative emotions in school? Why do they feel miserable, scared, afraid, and tired? Why are they bored in class? Even though some respondents reported no negative feelings, almost no one refers with enthusiasm or excitement about his school experience. This reveals a severe educational crisis. Without intrinsic motivation and curiosity, education is stifled from the get-go. To perform well, students need to sense that they encouraged in their interests and supported in times of struggle.
What causes these high levels of stress and boredom? Among chief complaints is that the class material is not engaging enough and does not allow them to use their creativity and resourcefulness. Teachers instead force them to accumulate massive heaps of knowledge as fast as possible. Another complaint is that they’re burdened with an endless stream of challenging and time-consuming homework and writing assignments that do not leave them time for a social life, extracurricular activities, or hobbies.
An important question is how students cope with this dissatisfaction regarding school responsibilities. The coping mechanisms can vary. Some students report a total disinterest towards school and no longer bother to seek academic achievement. According to statistics, a large majority of students delegate their assignments to take back control over their time. By finding a website where you can buy an essay for cheap, students manage to relieve themselves of assignments that are too time-consuming or that trigger stress and anxiety. This is a solution that permits them to reinvest their time in something valuable for them and still earn the top grades that professors and parents expect. The alternative is to exhaust themselves and became victims of sleep deprivation or caffeine or drug abuse.
A large number of students are willing thus to find alternative solutions and compromises because they understand the importance of a good education. They desire academic achievements, but they want a sense of balance and security in their lives. The thought that they might receive an assignment that will topple their hard work causes them anxiety and stress. Similarly, knowing that they must prepare for sleepless nights and exhaustion just to pass a test makes them demotivated and disinterested in learning.
With all these issues at play, the main problem that makes students feel alone in their struggle is the fact that parents and teachers dismiss their negative feelings. What causes this mismatch between students’ feelings toward high school and the impression of their teachers and parents that everything is how it’s supposed to be? Upon hearing about this dissatisfaction prevalent among students, academic boards and teachers refuse to acknowledge that the problem comes from how the educational process is set. They assume that negative feelings are a result of each individual’s student life context.
A student with a learning disability, for example, does not relate to the school in the same way as an above-average student with top grades. The suggestion is that the learning process must be adapted to the needs of each student, who must be seen as an individual with unique skills and weaknesses. Schools don’t try enough to connect with students and inspire them. Some special learning programs targeting ADHD students have shown massive improvement in this case, but there are many other changes needed.
Fast solutions to these school problems are hard to come by. However, students’ academic and future professional success depends on developing a good and satisfying relationship with the school. It is the role of professors and adults in their lives to provide that satisfying and productive learning environment.