top-rated free essay

Analysis of "The Overachievers"

By msj2386 Jan 25, 2013 694 Words
Overachievers Essay
College application season can be the most stressful period of time for any high school student. The combination of regret for not doing better in school, doubt in your own chances of admission, and the fear of rejection is enough to break even the most stable students. Author Alexandra Robbins, however, realized that the stress of college admission starts well before, as well as lingers well after, the actual application period. Through her observations, she concludes that the current education system is transforming students into GPA-obsessed, narrow-minded beings, and that the stresses of applying to a so-called “prestigious” university have a multitude of negative side effects.

Her first argument concerns how colleges and the entire application system as a whole is systematically turning flesh and blood students into merely sets of numbers. She explains how students nowadays are only concerned about three numbers: their SAT scores, their GPAs, and their class ranks. She goes on to explain that the obsession with these three numbers is causing students to lose sight of what high school is really meant for; getting a sufficient learning experience while preparing oneself for the trials of college life. Instead, high school has become a mad dash for the best chances of being accepted into colleges. This trait is exemplified in AP Frank who, forcefully urged by his mother, took all 17 AP classes Whitman high have to offer, an inconceivable workload that required he skip his lunch period everyday. Going off on a tangent, Robbins also makes a point about the “no child left behind” policy and severely criticizes it for forcing teachers to focus more on test scores rather than actually teaching. Early in the book, Robbins personifies her aversion to turning students into numbers in the form of college admissions counselors. She believes that this group of people is the epitome of why the application systems are so flawed, and first puts forth this idea by introducing the reader to Julie’s college counselor, Vera. Vera is so obsessed about her personal image and is so convinced that Julie will never be accepted into her dream college based solely on her grades and test scores that she drops Julie as a client.

Robbins’ second argument that makes multiple appearances throughout the course of the book is the assertion that the high amounts of stress experiences by high school students today is actually deadly. In the quest to be accepted into a prestigious college, students today take workloads that at times is too much, causing them to mentally snap. In this case, an unimaginable workload is put onto AP Frank by his oppressive mother, which Robbins states is quite common in East Asian countries, but not all the overachievers have had their workload put onto them. Audrey, the perceived “Perfectionist” doesn’t necessarily have as many reasons to be stressed as some of her classmates, but her mental state of having to do everything perfectly causes her to be under unnecessary stress. For example, it wasn’t mandatory that she spend all of her weekends and free time constructing the perfect bridge for her physics class, but her tendency to always want to be the best made it so. She spent time in which she could have been relaxing or decompressing on working vigorously. The resulting stress has been known to cause student suicide rates to rise around the world. Back at home, Julie also feels the effects as she notices that her hair has begun to fall out. She dismisses it as merely the side effects of her academically demanding life, but what she fails to realize is that stress-induced symptoms are the first signs of serious permanent damage and an increased likelihood that she will one day mentally break.

Overall, Robbins points out increasingly detrimental flaws in our current education system, such as turning students into data and burdening them with potentially fatal workloads. She also presents the information in a sense that allows the reader to connect with the students of Whitman High on an emotional level, which, in the long run, better help the reader understand the severity of the situation.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins

    ...Elsy Alfaro Mrs. Brayer Ap English Literature 5 October 2012 The Overachievers, Non-fiction Alexandra Robbins, 2006 Brief Summary and Arrangement: This non-fiction novel is categorized into seventeen clear straightforward parts: chapters one through seventeen. Chapter 1: In the first chapter Robbins introduces the students she f...

    Read More
  • Regression Analysis

    ... Unit 5 – Regression Analysis Mikeja R. Cherry American InterContinental University Abstract In this brief, I will demonstrate selected perceptions of the company Nordstrom, Inc., a retailer that specializes in fashion apparel with over 12 million dollars in sales last year. I will research, review, and analyze perceptions of th...

    Read More
  • Film Analysis

    ... ANALYSIS The set up is kind of slow, yet story-building. Seeing as this is the last movie of the Blade saga, the script becomes more intense that the two prior. A band of vampires finally stumble upon a diamond when they discover the remains of the legendary Dracula in a cave in the middle of the Iraqi Desert. When they reach hi...

    Read More
  • Analysis

    ...(Royal DSM N.V.: IT Enabling Business Transformation; CS #809-078) Due on: 29/3/2012 1. What Challenges and opportunities do senior executives at DSM N.V. face in 2000? In 2000, DSM senior executives were provoked with a dilemma to either continue on supporting the past business services that DSM used to offer – the core petroche...

    Read More
  • Analysis

    ...1. In her commentary “Reading Blind,” Margaret Atwood gives her opinions on factors that make a short story good. She writes that a good story has to have a voice that moves not only across pages but also through time. Most people are first introduced to stories at a young age by the “scandalous gossips” and “family secrets” that chi...

    Read More
  • an analysis

    ...Janelle Roa Cabrera ENG 4 – W 2008 – 07276 Professor Emmanuel V. Dumlao Poetry Analysis: “Justice” by Khrystyne Carmel Villan About the Author Khrystyne Carmel S. Villan, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts student in the University of the Philippines Los Baňos, is a Writing major who is curre...

    Read More
  • Analysis

    ...a new ball mill at $ 300,000 (assuming quality remains same). Expected time reduction to 15 hrs from avg. 60 hrs of choncing. – When ball mill is installed, Mixer will be next bottleneck. Additional mixer could be purchased & refurbished at $ 50,000. – Outsourcing the tempering and molding process to co-packers and remove duplication. Howeve...

    Read More
  • Analysis

    ...Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Situation Analysis Technology has unquestionably made our lives easier. In essence, grading is an exercise in professional judgment on the part of instructors. It involves the collection and evaluation of evidence on students' achievement or performance over a specified period of time, such as academic semest...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.