Editorial: Perfection doesn’t exist


Kaitlyn Hughes

“It feels as if it is part of Flower Mound’s culture to pressure students into showing a perfect life on the outside, but in reality many students deal with academic stress and worries about our futures.”

Students today are feeling more stressed and overwhelmed than ever. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2018 study, 61 percent of students feel pressure to get good grades. Some students also feel an overwhelming desire to be perfect. They obsess over every B or C. They worry that they may not be accepted by their dream college. Classmates will even glance at their friend’s paper and smirk because they did better. For these kids, school has turned into one big competition.

It feels as if it is part of Flower Mound’s culture to pressure students into showing a perfect life on the outside, but in reality many students deal with academic stress and worries about our futures. This need to pile on additional stress to be perfect and hide it all from others needs to end in our community.

One reason for all our stress is because expectations at home have become higher. We are urged by our parents to take on extra AP classes and clubs so that our college applications make us look perfect. However, no one can do it all. Some students crack under this pressure.

It is not just parents who are responsible. Teens feel a greater internal pressure to show only their perfect, positive sides to their family. Because of this, many teens feel as if the only adults who they can be vulnerable to are their teachers. Though it’s true that teen stress is self-inflicted because teens take on so much, it’s also true that students are hesitant to share their struggles. It is viewed as a weakness to ask for help.

In addition, hesitation comes from a combination of both commitments and expectations. It is also the idea that the most perfect of students all have minimal to no struggle.

Another cause of stress in students is the need to make decisions regarding their future at an early age. Kids as young as 6th or 7th grade are made to fill out surveys and choose options from programs like Choices 360 and Career Cruising. These choices are not at all specific and these types of surveys at such a young age creates unnecessary burden for young children. It does not consider the fact that our goals change over time. Kids should not be spending their early teenage years worrying about what they will do four to five years down the road.

Furthermore, students are often encouraged to follow one path and one path only — Pew Research Center’s study indicated that 59 percent of all teens surveyed said that they planned on attending a four year college, and most of their stress about receiving good grades came from that goal. Parents also say that we should aim for the top colleges. Ivy Leagues over UNT, Rice over NCTC. While this in itself is not a negative, it ignores the fact that local schools can give people a good education for much less student debt.

Though some of these attitudes cannot be changed quickly, we believe that there are changes that can be made now. Parents should be more accepting of their childrens’ struggles and also offer comfort and support in times when we need it.

As students, we should not keep everything to ourselves. Talking about our struggles is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Students need to realize that no student is perfect, and that they are on their own path, and we should only compare ourselves to ourselves. Keeping all our struggles to ourselves will only end up hurting us.