High school is a competition. Most people will tell you that it is a competition with yourself, but many of us, including me, are aware that high school can quickly morph into a competition with your peers.
You want the best college rankings, the best class rankings, the highest GPA, and generally we all want to be the top of the class.
Is all this competition really helping us learn? Or is it forcing us to push harder and harder to simply memorize, regurgitate, and forget?
I think that competitive environments help unmotivated students work harder, but in advanced classes, most students are already motivated and hardworking, so the extra pressure to be the best isn't doing much to make us work harder. Generally, it only serves to stress students out more than average, probably taking years off their lives.
I personally think that hyper competitive environments can lead to conflict and disunity, along with the tendencies to push away those around us, because with this mentality, they are only threats and competitors. Additionally, it encourages inequality.
The fact that schools are subconsciously encouraging us to compete but are simultaneously trying to create equality in education is interesting. There is no way to have complete equality while maintaining an environment where school officials are asking us to be the best, individually.
Competition is also eliminating opportunities for students to learn to collaborate. Instead of fully committing to group projects as a learning experience, students often choose to look at these projects with dread.
With a competitive outlook on life and the lack of collaborative skills, we are ultimately unprepared to enter the work environment in our futures. Therefore, the competitive environment may be doing us, as students, more harm than good in the long run.
However, we can’t just blame the high school environments––we are instilled with this competitive nature and the want to be the best (and therefore an innate desire for inequality) since the day we played our first sport or entered kindergarten.
We have always been pushed to compete with our fellow students, and I, for one, am tired of it.
Sentinel, my only request is that we decide if we want full equality or a competitive environment, because the fact we are trying to have both is really making it hard for students to know what they are supposed to be doing.