The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

Academic Pressure Faced by Students

An emphasis on competition and high grades is often mentally draining for students. With exam week around the corner, students may feel more pressure to do well. 

Some of the students’ pressure is peer-based, a desire to do better than their peers or classmates. Others face pressure from their parents to do well on a test or quiz. This high level of stress often leads students to sacrifice sleep, social interactions, and their mental health. 

“I feel my mental health has been negatively impacted by the righteous course load in Clements,” senior Alina Quadeer said. “I have had to cancel plans to study for hours in order to meet my standards for a good grade. I feel this has negatively impacted my health, my mood, and my overall outlook on learning.”

Many students taking rigorous courses have five to six tests or quizzes during certain weeks and two to three on a single day. 

“Taking rigorous classes at Clements has affected my mental health multiple times causing mental breakdowns and stress over the workload and not doing good enough and feeling like I failed,” senior Aiza Rotagia said.

Being in a constant state of stress over an exam or being sleep-deprived has been extremely normalized among students.

Freshman Tiffany Yuan said she gets six to seven and a half hours of sleep per night, but five to six before a big test. 

“I usually get maybe six hours of sleep when I don’t have much work and like four to five when I have to stay up,” junior Joanna Shin said.

Part of the stress students face is from comparison and viewing others as competition.

“I think it’s just mainly me comparing myself to others, like why am I not taking more AP classes, because I see all these freshmen in AP Physics, you know?” senior Olivia Chang said.

Some of these students’ comparison is with their own friends. 

“I do sometimes feel pressured when I get compared to my peers,” senior Asmita Subash said. “They often score higher and take that as an opportunity to tease me. I honestly don’t care but it pressures me to do better for myself so that I don’t have to feel dumb and disrespected…The environment can often be very toxic because of the high competition, and I find myself to be stressed often over the simplest grades and assignments. Doing what’s expected never seems to be enough, going above and beyond is that only thing that seems to promise a 100.”

Others set goals to meet personal expectations. 

“I don’t really feel pressured from other people, I’m pretty self-driven and my parents are pretty loose on their expectations because they know that I want to excel academically,” Qadeer said. “I feel driven by my desire to do better than others and to get into a good college mainly.”

For some students, the fear of failing a test or having incomplete assignments manifests in the form of anxiety or depression.

“I got hormonal imbalance, lost my cycle for months, got severe acne, panic attacks, some sort of minor depression and binge eating,” Chang said. “I just didn’t want to do anything at that point I would start waking up later than I should and slacking off.”

Many have found certain study habits or developed skills that help them handle the heavy workload. 

“I must admit at the beginning of the year it was super tough and I was extremely exhausted and burnt out because I didn’t have well-developed work habits,” Yuan said. “But, that did not affect my mental health that much, I was just tired all the time.”

On the bright side, their time-management skills and hard work will likely pay off in the future. 

“The rigor of Clements prepares me for the competition I might end up facing in college and the real world,” senior Vanya Goswami said.

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Riva Pradhan
Riva Pradhan, Reporter
Hi, my name is Riva Pradhan! I am a senior this year and this is my second year in Quill and Scroll. In my free time, I like to play my instrument, do taekwondo, and hang out with friends/family. At school, I am involved in the National Honor Society and Student Council. I look forward to taking pictures and writing stories this year!

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