Everyone has experienced the agonizing call from their parents asking, “Have you done your homework yet? Oh, how was that test today?” Then there is the endless string of questions when they get home from work about every aspect of your school day and how much you studied for the small quiz coming up in one class. I believe everyone can agree that without these subtle questions, we may forget about that quiz or not do that homework assignment that we go to at the last minute. It is not these questions that can make us stressed, it is the constant idea of college in the back of our parents’ minds, which then immediately comes to the front of ours.
When college comes into play our current grades enter our parents’ minds and they constantly want us to do better, which can be a blessing and a curse. It can be a blessing because sometimes we need that extra push and someone to keep reminding us what to do and when, but a curse because of the constant pressure to do better. Sometimes because of how much our parents care it can lead us to believe that there is no room for error. It is important for every student to understand that it is okay to not do well sometimes as long as it is not all the time. We all make mistakes but with the constant pressure from our parents to be as close to perfect as we can, it can be mistakenly understood that if we do not do well then we are not worth anything and we are no longer smart. Of course that is not what anyone, including our parents, mean for us to think but with stressed, tired teenagers you never know what you will get.
Parents want us all to do our best but sometimes we can think our best is not good enough. Sometimes we students want a break, we want to take a breather and put ourselves before our schoolwork for five minutes. But then there is that little voice in the back of our heads, probably our parents’ voices, talking about report cards, our future, and grades can cause us to push ourselves to an extreme. We love our parents and our parents obviously love us— if they did not care they would not push us to do our best. But sometimes a little push can be turned into a larger one. One large push can push us over the edge to a place where we can feel that even perfection is not good enough and not doing well one time determines the course of our future. Those are not healthy thoughts, but they are formed in our minds when we are stressed, on top of everything thing else happening in our lives.
We need to understand that our parents are the ones who want us to be perfect but perfect in our own way. If that means getting a low grade on that quiz you studied for two hours for, we tell them, get over it and know that we can bring that up. We will always be smart, we will always want to work hard and be better then the last grade we got but in the end we can only be who we are and who our parents push us to be. Parents want us to be our best selves and that is what they push us to do and we have to be forever grateful for that.
Even though some of our parents’ pushes can give us stress, stress is never going to go away. And sometimes the pushes can have positive effects instead of just stress. They can make us want to show them how proud they should be (which they are!), how much we can learn and what we can do in our academic life. Life can be tough sometimes especially when you feel as though everyone has their eyes on you about how well you do in school but the truth is you should not allow it all to get to you. You should do the best YOU can and do not push yourself over the edge. Do not allow anyone, even your parents to make you feel as though you can’t do it because you CAN and you WILL.
Pressure and thoughts of college happen, but do not make it as though that’s all life is. Because life is so much more if you allow it to be.
By Emily Ash’19, Opinions Editor