Set-Up: Alexandra Robbins — author of a NYTimes Bestseller, Pledged, a complicated look at the culture of college sorority life — has also written a book entitled The Overachievers: The Secrte Lives of Driven Kids that chronicles what life is like for more and more high school students given today’s pressures to achieve and be accepted by top colleges.
Snippets: From the inside book jacket, these caught my attention:
“You can’t just be the smartest. You have to be the most athletic, you have to be able to have the most fun, you have to be the prettiest, the best-dressed, the nicest, the most wanted. You have to constantly be out on the town partying, and then you have to get straight As. And most of all, you have to appear to be happy.” — C.J., age seventeen (one of the real students followed for this book)
“High school isn’t what it used to be. With record numbers of students competing fiercely to get into college, schools are no longer primarily places of learning. They’re dog-eat-dog battlegrounds in which kids must set aside interests and passions in order to strategize over how to game the system. In this increasingly stressful environment, kids are defined not by their character or hunger for knowledge, but by often arbitrary scores and statistics.” — editor’s comment
- Share your reaction to these two ideas given what you’ve already experienced in school up to your 10th grade year.
- While some of this may reflect what you’ve literally experienced at this specific school, you should feel free to refer to ‘life in general’ as an adolescent in our society.
- Just make sure you are keeping in mind the implications re: school and the pursuit of college (and life after high school).
Length: 7+ sentences