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The Evolution of a Student

I have spent my whole life growing up in Arlington Public Schools, beginning since I was three years old in Montessori; the importance of education has always been emphasized. Being so young, everything was a new and exciting experience. My classmates and I were able to learn at our own pace, based on our own interests. Grade levels were grouped together. The younger kids looked up to the wise, older kids, while the older kids helped out the younger kids. From learning how to tie a shoelace to using metal insets in the classroom, Montessori taught us everything from practical knowledge to theory. Our biggest responsibility was finishing our classwork in time for recess. I loved going to school every day. I looked forward to learning something new each day and reporting it back to my family once I picked up from the bus stop. Little did I know that as years passed, I’d be yearning to once again be able to experience these simpler times.

As I grew older, things changed. School started to feel like a requirement as opposed to the fun, learning environment that it once was. Looking back, I took for granted how easy we had it in elementary and middle school. We, as high school students, are now being forced to join and be active in as many clubs and activities that we can possibly fit into our already jam-packed schedules. Not to mention, we must simultaneously maintain our grades in all of our classes. We are also faced with the social pressure of needing to fit in and to join a clique. Trying to find the perfect balance between our academic and social lives is overwhelming and seemingly impossible. Achieving the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep every night is out of the question when students are juggling sports, clubs, and homework amongst other challenges. Instead of gaining new information as we go along, we are constantly being fed facts and figures that we are to then regurgitate soon after in the form of assessments, ultimately determining our success. Our success is measured by tests and quizzes, not whether or not we feel that we have learned practical information that we will use in our future. Frankly, we lose the enjoyment of learning new things. Instead of learning and strengthening our knowledge from each other, we are constantly being compared to and competing against one another. It comes down to determining who got the better test score and, ultimately, who got accepted into the better college. We must choose our major that we want to pursue, or else we are viewed as being unprepared for the future. Throughout our high school experience, we lose a sense of who we are as it suddenly becomes our GPA and our SAT and ACT scores that define us.

Our sense of who we are, however, is regained in college when all the pressure has been lifted off our shoulders. We will realize that all of our hard work has finally paid off. No longer are we being molded into the ideal student, as we now have the freedom to grow. We will once again be the happy, carefree individuals that we once were. College is where we can return to the things that we enjoy while discovering new things about ourselves and each other. We will have friends and professors who support us in our endeavors. In college, we have the opportunity to change the way that we physically look as well as change the way that we view the world. The possibilities are endless. Our lives will ultimately change as we now have all the time we need to determine who we are and who we want to become.

Posted: Nov 06, 2014 by Kanika Hav

Great insight....I cannot wait to see who you all become in the world.....Make good friends, consider good choices.
Comment by: Siobhan - 11/21/2014 12:19 PM

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