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The Cost of Being an Overachiever

            "Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased" (Krishnamurti). Krishnamurti is saying that being in competition with one or another distracts students from learning. Competition can be more harmful than beneficial especially when it comes to high school. High school has become a competitive frenzy to be number one. Forcing high school students to try to outdo one another is counterproductive for their learning. High school competition is destructive to student's self-esteem, it causes stress and it leads students to cheat. .
             Competition in high school creates self-doubt in students. We live in a culture that tells students that it isn't enough to be good but they must triumph over others. Students have stopped trying because they say. "What's the point?" Students begin to feel uninterested in school. Students are losing confidence in themselves because they are not among the top three in the graduating class or having a perfect or near perfect score on SAT. The whole affair becomes a vicious cycle; the more a student competes, the more the student needs to compete to feel good about themselves. Student's feelings of self-worth become dependent on external sources of evaluation as a result of competition: Your value is defined by what you've done. You're a smart person in proportion to the number of people you've beaten. .
             Competition in high school causes stress for students because of the pressure to succeed because our culture has created this idea that "more is better". Students sign up for multiple AP classes and extracurricular activities so they skip on sleep to fit five or more hours of homework on weeknights. Students don't have time during the day to unwind because they take on more than they can handle. Free time tends to be an abstract word for overachievers. The expectations placed on students with their busy schedule leave students feeling constantly stressed.

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