Psychologist Maria Keizer opines about the problems of the modern education model, the extreme pressure placed on students, and the lack of school-life balance.
Anyone professionally engaged in psychology will argue that maintaining a healthy life balance (parity of personal, professional, educational, and other spheres of life) is the key to developing a harmonious, well-rounded, and self-sufficient personality. Today, I will examine the issues facing students in the education system, namely this lack of school-life balance and the excessive pressure placed on high school and college students.
The Ratings War
Schools and universities are constantly competing amongst themselves for the highest ratings. Whose students take prizes at competitions? Which school’s teacher will win the “teacher of the year” title? What school will come out on top? The pursuit of perfection is admirable, but in this process students become hostages of the "holy war" of educational institutions. Increasing amounts of homework is piled on students daily as there is a push to complete additional assignments (essays, articles, coursework, research projects, and more). This is not done for the student’s benefit, but to keep or raise the institution’s ranking. A pretty logical question now arises: is this approach really justified for the students?
One Can't Argue with Numbers (or consider: The Numbers Don’t Lie)
To further delve into the bigger picture of student school-life balance, I researched the average time that students spend on homework. Time spent writing essays, researching projects, and completing other assignments were all considered. In the end, so much time was spent on assignments that most young people do not have time anything but attending classes, studying, and sleeping. This begs the question, what about developing a personal life and hobbies? When is there time to socialize, play sports, spend time with family, or volunteer?
The result is that today’s students are compromising their own desires and unique interests in order to complete unnecessarily high school standards. As a psychologist, I see that the deeper problem is that they are forced to compromise the very nature of being young. The stages of natural maturation and personal development imply the timely flow of different periods of life. Brain and personality development require a person to engage with friends, go to parties, fall in love, play sports, listen to music, and develop a sense of themselves on a personal level outside of the rigors of school. Overloading students with homework assignments to improve a school’s standing is not helping the students, but putting their personal development and happiness in jeopardy.
Sadly, this problem does not stop with the end of schooling. Young people who have limited themselves in their youth tend to have serious problems later in life. They are more likely to experience breakdowns at work, conflicts in their families, and even adultery. A general infantilism is seen in these cases as adults later try to compensate for their wasted “youth.” Consider the chart below; a significantly higher percentage of the best students experienced divorce, breakdowns, and infertility compared to the groups that lived their younger years to the fullest.
Is there a way out?
By virtue of social attitudes, we cannot refuse to participate in the ranking competition between schools and universities. Students are expected to uphold this strong desire to learn and succeed and action against this norm may be considered an act of ignorance. Failing to adhere to standards could lead to expulsion or censorship. What can a modern student do? They are left to ask for help in completing assignments, delegate writing essays and coursework to other people, or even cheat. Time that could be spent pursuing one’s true interests is absorbed with getting through idealized course topics that may not prove useful to the student later on (while studying to be a psychologist, I always wondered - how can the essay on the topic “Mathematics and Philosophy” be useful in real life?!).
I am no longer ashamed to admit that throughout 6 years of studying I have ordered almost 90% of the assignments from experts. This tactic did not stop me from graduating with honours, developing a successful private clinic in the centre of Singapore, or building a decent client base. Perhaps I did not understand the “Problem of Modern Cybernetics” (yes, being trained as a psychologist, I had to write an essay on this topic!), but I never had the need to understand it. What can I say to today’s students? I am concerned for your futures and hope that you protect your right to a thriving personal life, youth, and your free time. Do not participate in other people's battles. Learn what you are really interested in and what is necessary for the work you are called to do. The rest can be ordered here. As I mentioned, when I was a student, I used this service often and it never failed me. You can trust in their quality work and relax knowing that they are 100% confidential. Remember - the future depends on what you do and how you feel today.