The essay, "College Pressures" by William Zinsser explains the many different types of pressures that college students from all across America face today. As a college student myself, I found that I was able to relate to the essay. When Zinsser wrote the essay in 1979 he was primarily focusing on the students at Yale University and other private colleges with "high academic standards and highly motivated students." However, whether it was his intent or not, almost any college student; whether they attend a small community college or a private institution can relate to this essay.
Zinsser shows his understanding of the students in many different ways. He writes about their need to succeed, the four varieties of pressures he feels they need to deal with. As master of Bradford College, he tries to steer the students in the opposite direction society is pushing them in. In a round about way, he tells them, even if they don't believe it, "Don't focus every aspect of your life right now, on your future, you have choices!" Zinsser seems to have a sarcastic tone throughout majority of the essay, which I think makes it easier to read and relate to. .
One of the first points Zinsser brings to the readers attention is Americas view and expectations of college students. This country is known for many of its rights, however, failure is not one of them. Zinsser believes that society is pushing kids too hard to achieve success; and the result is forcing young to grow up too quickly. America and society as a whole puts extensive amounts of pressure on students today.
The four kinds of pressure Zinsser notes in the essay are; economic pressure, parental pressure, peer pressure and self induced pressure. As a college student myself I can relate indefinitely to what he is trying to get his readers to understand and I agree 100%. All four types of pressure Zinsser writes about eventually intertwine and become heavy boulders on the students shoulders, weighing them down dramatically.