More and more often, teachers are reporting that their pupils seem unhappy, unmotivated and disinterested. Changing curriculum, changing teaching methods and even altering the subjects being taught hasn't had much of an impact on this trend – so what is causing students to be miserable in school?
In 2009, the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA II) found that about 39 percent of American college students felt hopeless during that school year. Furthermore, 25 percent felt crippling depression, while 47 percent reported feeling overwhelming anxiety and another 84 percent were flustered by the busy schedule of their classes. The students polls overwhelmingly reported that the primary cause of stress in their lives was their academics, and they were worried about doing poorly.
This anxiety is due in part to a lack of preparedness of today's students entering college. Few have learned the life skills necessary to handle the change in workload and socializing easily. This is why it is essential that student preparedness be a major focus in high school.
Through the Own It! program, we focus on preparing students for the changes occurring in their lives, not just the tests they have to take. In that process we explore what can lead teens to being miserable as they take the next step into college, and how to address these issues. Some of these include:
Fear of bad grades – Poor academic performance is often a major source of self-caused misery among students. Constantly stressing over their grades and being worried about being less than perfect can cause sleepless nights and poor performance, thus resulting in those poor grades they were so worried about. Using destination thinking can help students focus on getting the A, rather than worrying about getting a C.
Fitting in – Worries over fitting in and making new friends as they enter college are a primary source of anxiety and misery for teens. By learning the ownership mentality, students will be more outgoing and able to engage with their new peers much more comfortably.
Lack of confidence – Many students lack confidence regarding their academic performance or their ability to fit in. This results in additional struggles as they seek to cope with these stressors while attending class and attempting to make new friends.
Missing family – Especially with students moving away for college, worrying about missing friends and family – younger siblings, grandparents and parents – can be overwhelming. Learning to become owners, rather than victims, will encourage these students to be proactive about calling home, writing letters and communicating more, helping to eliminate this worry.
Worrying about the future – Concerns over their future, especially financially with regard to student debt, is another major way that students make themselves miserable. Part of the Own It! course is helping students learn to alter outcomes by starting down the right path in the first place – a technique that will help them eliminate this worry.
At Grand Key Education, we strive to help students reach their true potential through the Own It! program. With the right preparation going through high school, students entering college will be able to avoid these pitfalls and make the most of their first year in higher education.