The Effects of the American School System


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Brianna Garcia-Andrade, Writer

Some people may say that to most, school is a happy, healthy, and fun learning environment for students, but many others, especially students, can argue that school can be a very toxic environment for students. But we’re gonna focus on the American school system and how it has affected and failed many of its students.

It’s no mystery that the American school system puts students under a load of pressure to do well in school because from a very young age we are brought up with the mindset that how well we do in school reflects on how successful we are in the future. Students have to constantly juggle the responsibilities of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, sports, a healthy social life, and time for their family. For some reason, the school system seems to believe that students have no life outside of school, which isn’t true. Let’s be honest, school isn’t going to be everybody’s top priority in life, especially at such a young age where everyone just wants to have fun, explore, and try new things. If the system wants its people to perform well in school, then they are going about it the wrong way because with the amount of pressure students are put under, it’s pretty fair that they start to become more and more stressed, which results in poor work performance.

The American school system has gotten so bad for students that it’s no longer about learning new information and applying it to your everyday life in the future. Now, it’s all about memorizing the information, applying it during testing, and just simply getting through it while doing the bare minimum. Especially now with recent events, such as COVID-19, that led to us having to completely switch to online learning where everything is digital. Due to this change, students don’t get to interact and socialize with their peers as they normally would during school. Online is very new to most people, which means that it causes a new level of stress and, for some, anxiety to resurface. You would think because of this, they would try to ease up on the workload and the amount of time spent looking at a screen, but that’s not what’s happening. Now, students are attending classes from roughly 8 am-3 pm, with a lunch ranging from 30 min to an hour, and still have to do additional assignments well into the rest of the day. To most it feels like because we’re all learning from home, we should have all the time in the world for school which gives teachers the green light to give even more assignments than what we would be doing in a physical school. Another thing to think about is that when students use most of their energy to do school work for the majority of the week, it takes away from their motivation to do other simple tasks in their everyday life.

When students are constantly being held to such high expectations while working and interacting in an unhealthy environment, it’s no surprise that it will take a toll on their mental health. Many students’ mental health may already be suffering due to a variety of reasons outside of school, and there could be plenty of students whose mental health had declined once starting school during their teenage years, which can be some of the most difficult years. Students who may struggle emotionally/mentally might have turned to school as an escape from their problems, but how are they expected to do that when school becomes one of the reasons for their mental health getting worse. 

Overall, some changes must be made in the American school system. It’s no longer the happy, fun, and lively place we once knew, it’s become a place that nobody wants to be. It’s taking a toll on students in many different aspects of their life, every day we see it more and more, and hopefully, you can see it too.