WHHS speaks out on academic competition


Dear students of WHHS,

Every student in this school is intelligent. Every student in this school is gifted and has the ability to change the world. Our student body is made of potential, waiting to take form. Yet, in our stride to academic success we have failed. In our desire to rise to the highest, we have created a toxic culture of academic competitiveness.

“What did you get on the assignment?” “What did you get on the test?” “What is your grade in the class?” These questions are the result of our competitiveness and desire to perform. As innocent as the asker’s intentions may be, the questions create an invasion of privacy, unhealthy stress and a toxic competitive environment.

Each student at WHHS has something interesting that they bring to our school’s community: athletics, choir, band, orchestra, art, photography or participating in the seemingly endless amount of WHHS clubs. These extracurriculars, along with the rigorous academic standards of WHHS, make for a busy-as-a-bee schedule for hundreds of students.

Honestly, we should not have the time to compare ourselves to others, yet we do. Subconsciously we need a feeling of adequacy in grade performance, pushing us to invade the privacy of others. But here is an idea if you really need to compare yourself to your peers: instead of nosily bugging your classmates on their grades in the class, ask about what they do outside of class. There is more to your fellow WHHS Eagles than their grade on a chemistry quiz.

Stop comparing your grades with those of other students. Instead, we should come together as students of the WHHS community to support and instill school pride in one another. Stop looking at the top of their paper. Instead, look to help your peers on the topics you understand that they struggle with. Stop asking why they performed poorly on a test. Instead, ask your classmates to come to your sports meet or club event this upcoming weekend. Instead of belittling your peers, get involved in a way that supports them.

We can catapult our school’s competitive culture into one of friendliness and support. We can work cooperatively with our peers to rise to the highest together, not push each other down so a select few can reach the top of the hill.

The change does not start with administration. The change does not start with faculty. The change does not even start with your parents. It starts with YOU.

Best wishes on that Chemistry quiz,

Drew Brown and Gavin Kursman


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