This is a satire of the stereotype that all Asian parents give their children excess academic pressure. (Chris and Bryant).
A rise in academic pressure has ensued to meet the demands of today’s society and the results are less than favorable. The pressure usually begins during adolescence, a vulnerable time for them, when they receive not only pressure from their superiors, but from their peers. The rise in academic pressure has negatively affected the masses of recent high school students, shown by rises in academic dishonesty and depression rates, against the well-meant intentions of the individuals who instigate this pressure.
Academic dishonesty has always been a problem in school, but the rates have risen gradually; surveys conducted by Drake have shown that in 1941, 23% of college students admitted to cheating. More recent surveys by Graham, Monday, O’Brien, and Steffen, an astonishing 90% of students have reported cheating (commons.trincoll.edu). Children today feel more pressured to cheat and do whatever is necessary to rise to the top. Such individuals may also rise as the valedictorian of their class, which, by doing so, they rob their more deserving peers of rightfully deserved opportunities. Pressure can originate from both sentient individuals and the draw of prestigious honors. I understand that we want our kids to be on top of the class, but we should also consider that they are young. They should enjoy life, mingle with friends and have fun. Life is not all about pressuring the students to study. As an Asian parent, I can see how my children do their very best to please me. I feel guilty about it, so what I do, is to compensate them. I allow them to use the computer, wake up late on weekends and less household chores. These are simple things but will make a lot of difference.
Depression and suicide in high school students has been well researched and documented, but hardly anything has been done about it. Although it occurs in western countries, it is more often documented in Asian countries, where academic success is stressed, in belief that academic excellence is one of the only ways to succeed in life. Juon et al surveyed Korean high school students and found that those who admitted to being more stressed about academics were more likely to have serious considerations of suicide (Mres.Gmu.edu). Similar results were found in Singapore, where school problems accounted for 11% of suicide in students (Mres.Gmu.edu). The results of these studies prove nothing positive on the psychological toll of excess academic pressure.
On the other end of the spectrum, the sources of pressure have different motives for attacking a teenager’s fragile psyche. The most common sources of academic pressure include parents, competition, and the curriculum itself. Parents usually have no idea of the extent of psychological toll their pressuring has to their children, and their efforts can be justified by trying to get the best out of their child. Academic competition, in its simplest sense, is ranking and how a student competes with other students. Many schools have opted out of traditional valedictorians and salutatorians for the very purpose of reducing academic pressure. And last, but definitely not least, is pressure from a school’s curriculum, which may prove to be too difficult for a student. A tough curriculum, on top of parental and peer pressure, is the outdoing of many students. This is a problem in Eastern and Western countries, either it’s to maintain their high tier spot in education rankings or to raise theirs.
Academic pressure has proven detrimental to students’ psyches, academic dishonesty and student depression rates, yet despite the research and efforts, little has actually been done and to reduce academic pressure. Education is simply essential for the growth of human beings as individuals and a population, and it carries long term effects. Poor education of one generation fosters worse education for the next.
Ang, Rebecca P. and Huan, Vivien S. “Relationship between Academic Stress and Suicidal Ideation: Testing for Depression as a Mediator Using Multiple Regression.” Mres.Gmu.edu. July 21, 2006. Web. 6 July 2013.
Chris and Bryant. “High Expectations Asian Father.” tumblr.com. n.p. 2010. Web. 7 June 2013.
Heneghan, Emily. “Academic Dishonesty and the Internet in Higher Education.”
commons.trincol.edu. May 4, 2012. Web. 5 July 2013.