Overachieving in sight of teenagers


Students preparing for school activities striving for perfection. Many teenagers fear failure thus creating unobtainable standards.

As the weather starts to get colder and Halloween candy is more accessible, the topic of fears has been discussed. More and more irrational fears are starting to become “rational” including the fear of failure. In a recent study, LA times, predicted that 31 percent of Americans have the fear of failure. 

”This school year has been more stressful than most years,” said junior Cami Hulterstrom. Due to covid restrictions school has been in and out of lock downs; however, this year is different. Virtual school is less common making the workload more aggressive. Along with the increase of assignments so has the fear of not accomplishing. 

Brothers, sophomore Isaac and senior Jacob Brown, share this fear. Both of them have been taking higher level classes their whole life implementing the idea that failing a class could end their career and future. “Our whole life depends on this high school experience, we better make it count” Jacob claimed. Isaac agrees, even though he is a sophomore, taking many extracurriculars and working hard “has always been on [his] mind” Isaac stated.

Every school and district has different policies and requirements for students who move around and lose all of their structure that they are familiar with. Junior Katie Pagel moved to Arizona from Colorado this year; she had to learn a whole new curriculum in history and join a new cross country team. For her whole life, Pagel kept her grades high and was well involved. But moving sparked a new fear inside of her 

Not getting a paper in on time or not getting on a test is all over achievers care about. There is this toxic idea where there is only one way to be successful and that is through good grades and college.

It’s not that students care too much, it’s the stigma of being a successful student. Grades are everything to an over achiever but it takes more than that to be a good student. For most students, realizing that is the hardest part , giving them that fear of failure.

Teachers have noticed this as well, this fear does not increase the students ability to go work rather it stresses them out. “If a test is announced the whole class goes wild with stress.” said chemistry teacher Billie Fortune. 

An easy solution to this is “knowing what you want [as a student] rather than focusing on what your parents want.” Not accomplishing something “is scary because I don’t want to disappoint my parents” Brown stated. This fear of failure has affected most students, figuring out an individual’s cares and themselves solves a lot more and allows a better high school experience to occur.