Do Students Work Hard For Themselves?


The student shown is focusing on college applications rather self-improvement.

Suhani Bhanvadia, Photojournalist

There is no doubt that high school students work hard on a daily basis to achieve their goals, but those goals may not be what they say they are. College, parents, and social status are the unspoken goals of many students. Instead of working to impress or improve themselves, they feel the need to work hard for reasons besides school specifically.

Some students’ parents are always checking up on their kids to make sure their grades are not slipping. So students begin to work harder. This is not self driven hard work. They feel pushed by their parents to do good in school.

This can even become an issue after high school. Once their parents are not constantly nagging them about their grades, they are not used to having to push themselves in their work. This would then spiral into a lack of good work ethic, much more different from the one they had in high school.

College. College can even fall under the category of social status because it is becoming more common to have one’s school as part of their identity. High school kids want to be able to tell their friends that they got into good colleges. So once they work hard to get into those schools, they have no motivation to continue to work hard in college. Instead of working for self improvement, high school students want to go to a nice college for their social status and not so much their desire to expand their knowledge.

Getting into a good college is seen as “cool”, so sometimes, students work hard to get into prestigious schools to impress their friends and/or boost their social prominence. 

Even components that usually affect the social status of a high school student are now changing. As having good grades becomes more “popular” or apart of a students’ social status, they only do the bare minimum to keep decent grades so that they can impress their peers. 

Danielle Huizar (10) also adds, “Sometimes I see other students doing the most ridiculous and unnecessary things just so they can put it on their resume or college applications. This encourages other people to do the same, and the trend goes on.” Since everyone wants to get into a good college, they start doing numerous, and even random, things to fill their resumes.

Most high school students work to impress others, not themselves. If they continue to do so, they will never be content or satisfied with their accomplishments because none of it was for self fulfillment.