You've heard this a million times from your teachers and parents:
*Go to school.
*Get good grades.
*Take honors and AP classes.
*Score high on the SAT and ACT.
These are the things you MUST do to get into college. Not only that, but you've got to pass state competency tests, complete senior projects, PROVE at every turn that you've learned enough, that you're good enough to succeed. You're over-tested and under-valued, and mostly, you're exhausted all the time. Plus, you feel on a deep subconscious level that no matter what you do, it's never good enough.
This is the culture of ACHIEVEMENT ADDICTION, and it's taking a toll on TEENS across the United States. Parents buy into this culture and push you to take harder classes so you'll be more competitive in the college admissions game. Teachers and counselors push you to succeed on tests because it makes THEM look more successful as educators.
They sell FEAR OF FAILURE as the motivator for student achievement, making you feel like even though you're doing your best, you're being left behind--like your best will never be good enough.
High school students are feeling more STRESSED and ANXIOUS than ever. College admissions, harder classes and more content being covered in class create MORE STRESS and LESS AUTHENTIC LEARNING.
Students believe they HAVE to take hard classes and complete more work or they won't get into college.
Suicide rates among teens and college-aged young adults are sky-rocketing. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are being prescribed at alarming rates. Yet, students don't FEEL BETTER.
Schools use fear tactics to get students to achieve more, which benefits the SCHOOL, not the STUDENT. This achievement addiction culture undermines students' success because it creates the belief that no matter how much students achieve, IT'S NEVER ENOUGH.
With this toxic achievement addiction culture, students trade the hamster wheel of high school for a bigger and more stressful hamster wheel in college, always believing happiness is over the next horizon, but they can't ever seem to get there.