The Uproar

Feeling the Pressure

The+image+above+hangs+on+Mrs.+Rosato%27s+wall+in+the+Counseling+Office.++It+serves+as+a+constant+reminder+to+students+who+may+be+too+caught+up+in+the+competition+to+get+ahead.%3Cbr%3Ephoto+by+Valerie+Davis
The image above hangs on Mrs. Rosato's wall in the Counseling Office.  It serves as a constant reminder to students who may be too caught up in the competition to get ahead.<br>photo by Valerie Davis

The image above hangs on Mrs. Rosato's wall in the Counseling Office. It serves as a constant reminder to students who may be too caught up in the competition to get ahead.
photo by Valerie Davis

The image above hangs on Mrs. Rosato's wall in the Counseling Office. It serves as a constant reminder to students who may be too caught up in the competition to get ahead.
photo by Valerie Davis

Valerie Davis, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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“All of these extracurricular activities are optional. School takes top priority over everything. Remember that.”

I’ll always remember this quote, because my dad never fails to remind me of this advice. But he’s not the only person in my life who never fails to remind me of the importance of school.

As I walk through the halls of NASH, the intelligence among all of my peers surprises me. But what shocks me the most is all of the competition between all of us. It often feels like everyone who attends this school seems to excel in school, even if it’s not entirely true. I think I’ve developed this thought process because of the toxic environment that seems to linger over all the students here. 

To me, high school is a game. Even more than just a game, it might as well be called the Hunger Games. It’s all about who can truly conquer rigorous courses and fight to survive.

There are many people I can think of who have mastered the playing field. It still astonishes me, after three years of attending high school, that some people can truly “play the game.” Some people really can take all AP’s and earn all A’s. It sometimes seems like kids don’t even need to study in order to well in their classes. I can’t be the only one who is annoyed by this — how is this game fair?

This irritation really came about when I was a junior and the PSAT scores came out in early December 2017. People were screaming across the hallways about how they “failed,” having earned a 1490. I remember literally stopping in my tracks and realizing that this is the North Allegheny way. Students have such high expectations for themselves and sometimes do not consider the thoughts of the other nearly 1400 kids around them.

photo by Valerie Davis

That moment was just the beginning of my irritated thoughts. I have, to this day, remained self-conscious because of these certain events and people. The progression slowly worsened when SAT scores, semester grades, and even final junior year GPAs were released.

And senior year has not gotten better. In fact, it might even be worse because of college applications and acceptances. This phenomenon still baffles me.

The competition within this school has overwhelmed everyone and has caused “average” students to experience anxiety and self-doubt. It’s unfortunate and quite honestly very annoying — but how can we stop this?

Ah, I know. Stop publicizing your SAT scores. Stop boasting about which college is going to give you the biggest scholarship. And overall, stop talking about yourself as if everyone else who goes to this school is just like you.

I think it is fair to say that comparing ourselves to others is a trait that almost all of the students have here. How are we not supposed to compare ourselves when people are trumpeting their test scores and which Ivy League they are applying to this week?

We go to NA, a school where GPAs are all across the board. No matter how intelligent or unintelligent you feel, you are worth it, and the mere fact of attending this school makes you special. NA is nationally ranked as one of the best public high schools in the nation, and it’s for good reason. The academics here are remarkable, and I truly hope — however hard it may be to maintain that hope — that the stress now will be worth it when our first college exam rolls around and we know how to prepare.

About the Writer
Valerie Davis, Co-Editor-in-Chief

A senior, Valerie is thrilled to be on The Uproar staff this year. She enjoys singing, dancing, playing lacrosse, talking, listening, and eating Asian...

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Feeling the Pressure