Many things have changed in the 21st century, including our education systems. Students nowadays are constantly becoming a target of the overwhelming demands and standards set by high schools. First, there is the pressure of scoring good grades and performing well — if you don’t, how will you succeed in the real world? Then come other problems such as those related to socializing, fitting in with the rest, managing expenses and maintaining a study-life balance. All of this can become too much to handle for a high school student, and not being able to do so often results in anxiety and depression.
Preparing yourself for high school and everything it entails is tough. To help you out, we have compiled a list of the 5 biggest challenges high school students face.
1) Academic Troubles
This is one of the major challenges that students face in high schools. When it comes to studies, most students struggle due to the overwhelming expectations set by parents. Passing high schools with good grades is not a piece of cake because the course material is wide and intense. It requires an in-depth understanding of every topic. This means, that you need to spend a lot of time studying.
To top it off, taking classes and understanding lectures proves to be difficult because every student has different learning capabilities. While some are able to grasp concepts with ease, others may not be able to. Slow-learners can have a hard time keeping up with the rest of the class. Due to this, some students choose to opt for a high school diploma online, which allows them to study at their own pace.
Additionally, the pressure to score well only intensifies when combined with the fact that the results will determine which college and university the student can apply for. The standards and requirements set by reputable universities are nowhere near easy, to say the least. Preparing for SATs alongside the course material and filling out college applications can be very stressful. For these reasons, high school is the time when many students feel lost and anxious about their future. Counseling during this time can be an effective way to relieve their stress and guide them in the right direction.
2) Adjusting to a new environment
One of the biggest worries for anyone starting high school is whether they will be able to adjust to the new environment high school offers. The building itself is likely to be much bigger than middle school, with a greater number of students. This makes it difficult for new students to navigate around the school initially while switching between classes. Every student is expected to be on time for each class, which means they have to know their way around effectively so that they can go from one class to another without any hassle.
The class composition is also different in high school. Although the middle school has different teachers for each subject, students tend to have classmates of the same grade in each class. This is different from high school as the classes can have students from different grades. Moreover, at this level, the teachers expect the students to show greater independence in their learning and consequently, have a different approach to teaching.
Adjusting to a completely new environment and studying with people of different age groups can be difficult, especially for students who lack social skills. New social situations are likely to be stressful as they feel greater pressure to be accepted.
3) Peer Pressure
Most high school students are affected by peer pressure; it plays a huge role in shaping their actions and decisions. For teenagers, it is very important to feel like they ‘fit in’ and be accepted in their group. These accepted values and norms of high school influence their dressing, behavior, and attitude. High school students tend to do what everyone around them is doing in order to blend with the crowd and not be an outcast. This can sometimes have disastrous consequences.
For instance, if there is a group of friends who all smoke and have alcohol, even those who aren’t fond of these habits will have a hard time refusing it simply due to the pressure of being accepted by their friends. It is due to peer pressure that 74.3% of the students in high schools have tried out alcohol, 3.1 million teenagers in the U.S. smoke and 50% feel pressurized to have sex.
Overcoming peer pressure is not easy for high school students. If they do try it, they either get labeled as an outcast or suffer from constant bullying, in the worst cases.
4) Inability to Maintain a Balance
High school students have a lot on their plate. From attending classes and managing their studies to finding their career path and making time for their friends, they have so much going on that it becomes difficult to maintain a balance.
First, there are strict deadlines on assignments and homework they must meet; that combined with frequent tests and lengthy exam schedules leave them feeling stressed most of the time. At times, it gets impossible to take some time off for relaxation.
For this reason, self-discipline and time management are very important skills for high school students to have. Students have to plan everything and prioritize their tasks and responsibilities to get through.
As the saying goes, ‘the journey is the reward’. High school is a journey that teaches students that life is not a fairy tale and everyone has to struggle to succeed.
5) Financial Issues
Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth; there are many high school students who face financial issues. Many come from families who are struggling to run their homes on a tight budget. Consequently, these students face great difficulties when it comes to managing their own budget.
High school expenses for a student can easily pile up to a significant amount. Apart from the academic expenses of purchasing books and notes, every student has some personal expenses as well such as clothing, hanging out, buying gifts for their friends, to name a few.
Difficulty in meeting these expenses results in some students taking up part-time jobs which just add to the existing burden on their shoulders, affecting their academic performance. Many students consider financial constraints a major reason for the decline in their academic performance.
For this reason, it is a good idea for all students starting high school to prepare a budget in advance that includes all their expenses and stick to it. This will help them avoid any unnecessary expenses that could result in financial troubles later on.
High school is a journey full of memories, making friends and having fun. However, it is also a journey that has plenty of hurdles and challenges. Students are often not aware of what high school holds for them and end up feeling lost when faced with any problems. By knowing the challenges they are likely to face, they can be better prepared to overcome them.
If you are a student who is about to start high school, keep the above list in mind and remember not to stress out or worry too much. Everyone finds high school a challenging experience but it is surely an exciting ride. So, hold on tight and get ready to welcome some of the most memorable years of your life!