In truth, we live in a society where young people are tested and examined at school on a regular basis. This system works well for some people but for others, the whole prospect of exams can seem daunting and unfair and pointless. For me, exams are a pain. I don’t like them, I don’t enjoy them, but I do accept that they exist and that the easy to deal with them is to work my hardest to achieve the best outcome I am capable of. Some people, however, criticise me for having this attitude towards education. Some would say that I’m a ‘sweat’ or a ‘try-hard’ and all sorts of things that have negative connotations and make me feel as if I should be embarrassed for trying my hardest and wanting the best. I’ve experienced this a lot over my five years of secondary school and even more since I started studying for my GCSEs in Year 9. It seemed whenever I received a good mark in a test, I would be looked down upon and almost felt socially excluded by my classmates just because I put all of my effort in to my school work. I was singled out as being different because I worked hard.
Usually I can deal with it, sure, it is an unpleasant feeling to be mocked because you are doing well in school but at the end of the day I should be happy with my results. The majority of the time, I am, but a few months ago I decided that I had had enough of being singled out for doing well so decided to relax a little and not put as much effort in. I stopped learning the French vocab every week just so I wouldn’t get full marks on the vocab test and would start getting more average marks. I stopped working so hard at maths because I was fed up of my friends constantly saying ‘oh you always get top marks’ and looking at me with almost disgust when they asked me what I got in my maths tests. I stopped trying hard in politics so that my teacher wouldn’t single me out anymore and call me an ‘inspiration’ for doing well at an AS Level a year early. I just stopped trying. Why? Because it’s cool to know nothing.
But is it really? Did I feel any better when I started getting lower marks in tests? Did the mocking stop? Nope.
If anything, I felt worse. I have a natural desire to push myself to work hard and to do my best and in all honesty not doing this was causing me even more stress than working hard did!
So, I picked up my act and stopped trying to fit in. At the end of the day, it is my future, not theirs, so I can do whatever the heck I want with it. I still get teased and mocked for being smart and working hard occasionally but now I avoid telling people my grades and what marks I got in tests – it just makes it easier.
What I really wanted to talk about though, is what makes people mock those who try their best and want the best they can possibly do? Why do they feel the need to make others feel bad about getting good grades instead of the pride they should be feeling?
I, personally, think it is a way of rebelling against the pressures the adult world put on us. Against the countless exams and tests and ever-hardening curriculum. I think it is because they can’t accept that although school is getting tougher and, perhaps, more unfair, it is still absolutely necessary to try your hardest and achieve your best in school, now more than ever. We are constantly being told that we need to do well at school and go to university and get a degree to get a good job and earn money. Perhaps some teenagers way of coping this pressure is to just ignore and pretend it is all a hoax adults are playing on us to make our lives a misery. Perhaps some see those who work hard as ‘fraternising with the enemy’ which is why they feel the need to mock and humiliate people who want to do well like me.
I know, I know – it’s in a teenager’s nature to be lazy – I am extremely lazy when I’m not at school – so perhaps some teenagers envy others ability to be able go push aside laziness and get their heads down when it comes to school work and revision.
I really do wish every teenager could have the motivation to work hard and try their best to achieve what they deserve. The thing is, motivation has to come from you. No one else can find the motivation for you. It makes me sad because some teenagers don’t find this motivation until it’s too late. Some of my classmates won’t.
In an ideal world, we would all be encouraged to work hard and instead of being singled out for putting in lots of effort or not enough effort like in today’s society, we would all be commended on our individual abilities. Would this create a basis for greater comparison and competition between student? Who knows…but the way the education system is viewed and reacted to by students in the present day has got to change, especially with the government increasing the frequency and difficulty of examinations.
Well…this was a bit of a ramble, wasn’t it? As you can tell my life revolves almost completely around school and exams right now so I struggle to find inspiration to write about other things!
Thank you for reading! 🙂