Aside from the most common problems faced by typical high school students, there are a number of underrated problems which often go overlooked.
Here are a few of the most underrated problems in the lives of high school students today.
Many people might think that academic challenges are to be expected; after all students are progressing to higher levels of education. But the level of academic rigor is often overlooked. For some students, high school work loads are initially very stressful and difficult to cope with.
This is largely due to the fact that the approach to academics begins to change in high school. In middle school, the curriculum and the teachers cater directly to the students. If a student is lagging or struggling, they are immediately helped and brought back on track. Once you reach high school, that onus begins to shift. Both the curriculum and the teachers begin to expect students to take a more central approach to their academics. This means that there is less ‘spoon-feeding’ so to speak. This shift in dynamics can pose problems for many students initially who have been used to a different way of teaching/learning.
Another problem which is often overlooked is how stressful the transition into high school can be for many students. Changing schools is an experience which is often stressful and nerve-wracking but high school is a whole different ball game. Add to that the fact that this is a congregation of teenagers you’re dealing with and you’ll begin to see just how overwhelming this transitional period can be.
In middle school, students are used to set classes. Each year you join a class of anywhere between 20-30 students max and those are your peers for the rest of the year. Come high school, all of that changes. You no longer have one class that you stick with for the year. You also switch over to a semester system which involves taking different classes every semester.
Students will typically have a home room class, which is their first class of the day. After that, students will move around to their different classes every period. This system can initially be overwhelming and confusing, especially if your high school is big. It also possesses the additional problem of having to make new friends in each class. For students who are shy or have social anxiety, this aspect of high school can be an absolute nightmare.
Balancing Extracurriculars with School Work
In high school, students will get the chance to enroll in many more extracurricular activities than they did in middle school. The sheer amount of options themselves can be overwhelming and it can be difficult for students to choose what they want to do.
Once they’ve managed to decide on which extracurriculars they’ll be doing in a term, they’ll need to find a way to balance their time commitments. Joining a club or team of any sort will require a huge time commitment, oftentimes requiring students to stay after school or come in on the weekends.
Students will need to learn how to strike the perfect balance between taking the extracurricular activities they enjoy as well as ensuring that they don’t fall behind in their school work. For some, this can initially be very difficult. There are students who struggle in the first and second semesters of high school and begin to realize that they may have bitten off more than they can chew. This again is a learning process and with experience students will begin to get the balance right.
Peer Pressure and Bullying
While everyone knows that peer pressure and bullying are common phenomena in the world of teenagers, these problems are some of the most severe and challenging issues that plague high school students. It’s easy to think that bullying and peer pressure are ‘rites of passage’, but to do so would undermine the extent of the harm they can wreck on students’ lives.
Bullying is defined as a persistent and ongoing pattern of abuse (whether physical or verbal) and harassment. With the advent of social media, bullying has found its way online as well, so students who are abused in school often get no respite when they physically leave the premises.
The concerning thing about bullying is that it can lead the victims to extreme ends such as suicide. Teen suicide rates are consistently very high and one of the main contributing factors is bullying.
Peer pressure is another much underrated problem faced by high school students. It’s not enough to know that peer pressure exists among the younger generation. Accepting its existence is acquiescing to its harmful effects, which create a myriad of problems for young teens.
High school students can be pressured into taking drugs or partaking in a wide range of destructive behaviors and activities which are self-destructive and can adversely affect their academics.
High school is a challenging and tumultuous time for most students. The amount of change and transition that they have to cope with is enough pressure, and that doesn’t include the slew of other challenges they face during this time. The key to helping any teen cope with the problems they’re facing in high school is to take the time to understand how exactly they’re struggling. Don’t try and brush their struggles off as something everyone has to deal with in high school. Appreciate the fact that high school will pose unique challenges to each student and then help them find ways to effectively cope.