The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Opinion: Academic Validation

Oftentimes to their detriment, students can become dependent on their grades in order to maintain their self-confidence

Validation is used where one gives recognition and acceptance to another’s personality, character, ideas, experiences, and overall existence, suggesting it should be seen as a good thing. As humans, we crave validation, but why?

The validation we receive affirms the self-image we create of ourselves, helping us nurture our identities.

A lot of what I believe is a great part of my self-worth is my academics. I am no student of perfection, nor do I strive for the unachievable. However, all my life I have found that my grades have been what has kept me on my toes.

A student’s current grades are widely considered a reflection of how well they are doing in their education, specifically for students in high school. Throughout our scholastic lives, we gain a certain routine to achieve success in our education. Success may be an A average to some, while others can find success with any passing grade.

Academic validation denotes a student’s dependence on their grade to feel praised. It is specifically where one will rely mainly on their grades and overall academic performance to foster their self-worth.

Here at NA, I don’t believe we necessarily have a particular problem with that, as most students endure the same pressures and struggles of maintaining the grades they want. However, I cannot deny that, for seniors in particular, many students will tend to slack academically, especially near the end of the year, which can have serious consequences.

This goes for all of high school, though, as many students such as myself have an easier time ending the year burned out but still basing our self-worth on academic performance. This specific validation can be a mind game, as the praise from one’s grades can influence a student’s identity. This situation can be very severe for some people, as it can come from a student whose academic achievements are above and beyond the general average, meaning they will strive to reach those high standards but will also fall apart when they don’t meet their expectations. Another student could be seriously struggling with their high school grades, falling behind or failing into a place where their grade has the power to ruin their self-perception.

Anybody here at NA can succumb to it. Looking back on our own lives, we can try to understand the reasoning behind why we need a certain validation, especially from our academic achievements. A common theme we see from many students is the pressure of parents’ high demands on a student’s academic achievements. 

However, academic validation can be a source of satisfaction if it doesn’t destroy us to the point of self-loathing. Receiving a good grade or being generally on top of things is one of the most common feelings of freedom a high school student can receive. Having good grades is a part of having a successful teenager’s life, and it is a praiseworthy thing. But it becomes dangerous when it turns to obsession, whether that means putting all our effort into a certain class or becoming buried in the anxiety of having grades below the perceived standard of success.

Simply put, a single letter can represent a major part of how we feel about ourselves. Fortunately, NA has many resources to help students struggling not only mentally but academically. Our well-being is truly the most important component of our overall success, and if we are not taking care of the other aspects of our lives, we will begin to burn out when chasing only validation. Seeking the right support we need and practicing self-care are crucial for our true success.

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About the Contributor
Glee Farina
Glee Farina, Staff Writer

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