High school kills creativity


Makenzie Closson

Always Working. According to Yale News, nationwide, 21,678 U.S high school students feel tired and unmotivated.

For 18 years students’ lives, they are required to submit to the ideologies school teaches them. While school is a foundation created to guide young minds in the right direction, as students grow older, they notice the loss of their childlike spirit of creativity and carelessness. 

The public schooling system is structured around one main concept: There is always an answer toeverything. Science class allows students to experiment with different substances, but the overall “conclusion” of the project is one cohesive answer. English class pushes students to interpret literature, but if a singular student interprets the reading in a peculiar way, their answer is deemed incorrect. The realization that society as a whole needs to come to terms with is that not every single question is going to have a linear answer, and that is okay.

Think about the limitlessness of a child’s mind. Their abundance of energy, their ability to fabricate interesting make-believe stories and, overall, the overflowing amount of joy they tend to feel. This aspiration to take on the world as a young student is something that starts out strongly within a person. As a person grows and changes, school should also be able to adapt with the students. The more mundane the years get, the less motivation for excellence a student will have.

The strict environment of school indefinitely impacts the academic intake of a student. Students are forced to sit down, remain quiet, write down information all day and take assessments alone. There is a mentality of “I can’t make mistakes,” or “I’ll never be able to succeed.”

On the contrary, the idea of “successfulness” comes in many different shapes and sizes. Mistakes are inevitable and are one of the most crucial parts of learning and expanding. A student under immense academic pressure can evidently ruin themselves because they fear the consequences of getting low test scores. Teenagers start to compare their knowledge and worth to how capable they are in standardized test taking. Value should not be determined by a percentage or grade.

The most concerning problem arises when school pushes the idea onto students that careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) should be taken more seriously than careers within the arts. 

Students who choose to participate in STEM based classes to prepare themselves for what they are dedicated to doing in the future are more than welcome and will always be encouraged. Although, with the world we live in today, money seems to be an unpleasant odor that lingers in every conversation about future careers. The obvious truth is careers structured around the arts are underpaid, underappreciated and understaffed. Educators would be setting their students up for failure if they allowed them to pursue a job that will die, right? Unfortunately, that is a mindset often many share. This leads to schools not funding their creative programs, like music, drama or art. Ultimately, the final result is students settling for a major that is stable instead of something they genuinely enjoy.

The majority of audiences firmly believe in the format of school because if there wasn’t a rhyme or reason, students wouldn’t be able to prepare for college the right way. However, according to Public School Review  60 percent of students aren’t prepared for college-level work based on what they’ve learned in high school. Of course, high schools need to set boundaries for their students to prevent constant confliction, but the ultimate goal is to create a more relaxed version of what most students would call a prison. 

School is a privilege and an opportunity. Although, that shouldn’t mean students have to feel the unnecessary pressure of trying to exert all their energy into testing and pumping out meaningless essays. Instead, they should be able to rekindle their childhood selves, whose only aspirations in life were to visit the moon and still make it home in time for dinner.