My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Monday, December 21, 2015

As We Stress, So Do Others...


 Tis' the season for Stressing Out! So many people I know are really stressed this time of year.  For a mom like me, the triggers are trying to get Christmas stuff together (teacher gifts, gifts for friends, gifts for family, etc.), worrying about money, and wondering how we are going to get everything done on time.  For students, the worries are about getting projects and homework done, and thinking about Finals.  The pressure to get perfect grades, particularly in high school is intense.

I have read two separate blog posts of late where students are so stressed out and they are silently screaming to their parents to back off.  I have high school students and I know first hand that the pressure is real.  I have tried to let my kids know that passing grades are what matters.  But some of the biggest pressure comes from teachers and other students, especially at competitive schools.  It is heartbreaking to see all these very bright students freaking out.  But what can be done?

While we can't control how teachers and other students behave, we can think about our own actions.  How about as adults that we, ourselves, calm down.  I need to do this as much as anyone.  I have one kid who is doing well in school and another kid who is close to failing.  I am been so worried and I know I am projecting this on to this kid.  My fear is that this kid won't be able to go to a U.C. (University of California).  But, maybe that is not the worst thing in the world to occur?  I myself went to a community college for two years before transferring to a great university.  It took me five years to get my degree, but I did it.  I think as parents (and teachers) we need to stop buying in to the notion that all kids need to go to university right after high school.  Some students may need time to experience life before they are ready to commit to college.  Some others will find another path entirely.  But THIS IS THEIR JOURNEY, NOT OURS.  

Let's show some respect for all that these young people are doing.  High school is very demanding.  If we adults had to work 8 hours a day, and then come home and do 4 more hours of work (plus volunteer and participate in a sport), we would be tearing our hair out, too.  We would either ask for more money or look for another job, right?  But kids are stuck in this job until they graduate.

I hope in the new year that we can make a point to care, to guide, and then to BACK OFF of our students.   And I need to do this as much as anyone.

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  1. Ah, I agree so much with this! I have dealt with this as the student, and now as a parent, it's something I definitely am cognizant of, even though my kids are still teeny tinies. My parents were SO insistent that my brother and I attend college right after high school, and it was a nightmare for us both. I stuck it out, but was in one of the deepest depressions of my life. It did not help that they made me go "at least two hours away" so that I could "have a real college experience", so I literally chose the closest school that my mom applied for me to, and that had a couple people from my high school going to it. It was also the WORST college I'd applied to, even though I got into all of them. Maybe had I waited a year, I would have been able to make the choice myself, and picked somewhere that was a good fit. I also went to college at 17, and was SO young and emotionally immature compared to everyone else. I mean, there were 22-23 year old men and women on my swim team- I was just a kid!

    My brother, who is now very successful as a railroad employee, and is one of the only people on the east coast who can perform his job, wanted to go to a more technical college, but NOPE, the parents insisted that he go to "real college". He was miserable too, ended up dropping out, wasting so much time and money, and finally going to the mechanical school he'd wanted to from the start.

    That was kind of long and blabbering, but I think it's important for teachers and parents to know that it ISN'T always the best plan. Some kids simply aren't ready, or it isn't the right path for some. PLUS, a college degree in 2004 was NOT the same as my dad's degree from 1969. A bachelor's got him a nice cushy job for life, whereas it got me student loans and a lifeguarding job at minimum wage.

    Okay, I am done! I just think this is SO important to remember, and I am really glad that you brought it up. I have seen SO many bloggers stressing, and it makes me so sad :(

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Shannon. I know that many book bloggers are teens and I hope that someone who needs to hear these things will see that there are many paths in life.


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