I am beyond annoyed today; and frankly pissed off. This was by far one of the worst school days I have had all year and actually probably the worst I have had.
Why? Because of the entire structure of school, the way it’s organized, the way its administered, and the way it is stressed for all the wrong reasons.
I am not speaking for all schools, because I bet that some schools are geared to what really matters which is learning. And before it seems like I’m totally bashing my school, I am not. My school is huge, and there are classes in which I feel like I am learning and not just trying to get by to ensure I get a decent grade. Which is a fantastic segway for my next point. Grades.
We are taught usually from day one of high school, these next four years (…hopefully 4 years) are going to be challenging and colleges will take notice of your grades. They WILL NOT see the teachers you get, they WILL NOT see the effort put into your work, and they WILL NOT see any other stresses you have to endure in your personal life. All that matters is your grades, your GPA, your SAT/ACT scores, and extra curricular activites.
They do not see the amount of content you learned, because there is no way of testing that or seeing that. You could be taking an AP course with an easy teacher and learn nothing and score a A; then there is someone who is taking the exact same AP as you yet has a harder and more challenging teacher or even a teacher that is not so good at their profession which thus leads to the student getting a lower mark as their grade. This does not show what the student learned or how much effort the student put into their work; it only shows the grade. That C that the student got could keep them from getting approbation, getting a scholarship, or even getting into the college of their choice. Yet, even if the student recieved a C and tried their absoulte hardests in the scheme of things having a challegening teacher may have helped them in a different way; it helped them learn. But learning does not really matter? Because the person who learned nothing and was able to get by with an A is still able to achieve some of the things the kid with the C may miss out on. This is not fair, at all, in my opinion. One reason why I don’t like school is because I feel like I’m going in circles, I may not have the highest grade or the highest GPA, but I am learning and I know I’m learning, but sometimes my grades do not reflect my knowledge. But then again, thats what the SATs are for right? To demonstrate our “knowledge”; this is another major flaw of the system in my opinion. I do not think that SATs should matter as much as they do, because some people are not good at taking standardized tests such as that or some people just may be on totally different levels. I agree that they do help colleges choose which students best fit their desires, but honestly, the weight of them just adds more stress. Between the stress that is already dropped on you Junior year and sometimes even Sophomore year you must also thing about this test; the very test that can also be known as the most important test of your life. You better still know how to solve matrices and use the quadratic equation and the use of imaginary numbers. Because if you don’t…well there goes the rest of your life, the hope of getting into that college of your dreams which will instantly shoot you into the career of your choice were you can hopefully become a successful and productive member of society. Right? thats how it works? The very IDEA of this test meaning that much scares me and a lot of other high schoolers who have to deal with this thought every. single. day. The idea and purpose of the SATs is not a bad idea, but its just how much it is weighted and how the fact that 4 years of high school, 4 years of “learning” is reflected in one test; the one test that colleges will look at (or two tests if you take the ACTs). The SATs can work to your advantage, but at the same time they can also be one of your worst enemies. That test sits in the back of your mind all year, until the day comes when all thats crossing your mind is rhetorical devices used, math equations and formulas, acceptance letters, and the hope that all those practice SAT books..courses…and PSATS will actually serve their purpose and help you.
The entire idea of what comes out high school scares me, people say you are put into the real world you are becoming independent. So am what I doing now? will my History classes really help me if I plan on becoming a Science major? What if I have all As in my classes, but a C in History…that could hurt your GPA so much yet… that C in the long run wont matter because if you want to be a cardiologist why would learning about different phases of the French Revolution help you that much? Shouldn’t you be taking classes geared towards your interests, or maybe at least focus on those classes and have that shown. None of that really matters though, its all about that final GPA. There can be a kid who cheats his way during high school and gets a perfect 4.0 GPA, and he learning nothing he just knew enough to get by; yet the kid who did all his work and for a 3.3 GPA does not get the scholarship that would allow him to go to the college of his choice. Does that seem fair in the least bit? You can make the arguement that yeah well the cheater will pay for it in college, but at the moment of college acceptance letters and he is holding your seat for an Ivy League school he did not deserve to be in? I know I’d be raging.
Maybe my entire argument is invalid and I just made myself sound like an idiot. But all I know is I’m sick and tired of it. I think it is unfair the way school is now structured to numbers rather then knowledge and learning. But one can also argue well; life is unfair; so better get used to it now.