College pressure affects students in all grades

By Mac Welsher

The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)

Students at Grosse Pointe South go through tons of pressure, like Frankie Thams ’15 who has a dream of going to Michigan and has taken the ACT 3 times to help his goal a reality.

“Family and friends put the most pressure on me because they know me the best and expect me to do big things after high school,” Frankie Thams ’15 said.

According to Mr. Hamka all of the pressures that go on during trying to get into a good college because over anxiety.

“I think that there are three main reasons that students have pressure upon them of getting to a good college: one being parents, two being peers and three being their own expectations,” Mr. Hamka said.

More reasons according to Marshall Vyletel ’16, you want to be able to impress people that you talk to and tell them that you went to the top end schools like the Michigans, Harvards, and Yales, so there is a lot of pressure.

To add according Pasco he thinks because of the student and family expectations hold a lot of pressure alone, but also the society.

“The pressure is ridiculously high in high school as it is, but at South that pressure is much greater because of the reputation that our community holds,” Vyletel said.

Schools like Michigan rather have students take AP and Honors courses and get a B rather take an easier course and get an A, Hamka said. Colleges really like to see students challenge themselves than take the easy way out to keep your GPA higher.

According to Hamka, in our state’s educational environment there is no way the stakes of the ACT wouldn’t be high.

“In a perfect world there wouldn’t be any pressure, but because it is valued so much it has to be pressured because so much value is being placed on them.” Pascoe said.

.In addition, Pascoe said there is a great deal of pressure to do well on the ACT but does not think that the test necessarily shows how well a student will do in college.

“I went to Wayne State, and at the time it wasn’t seen as well as it is seen now, but I was still successful. It is not about where you go. It is about how well you do in college,” Pascoe said.

Pascoe has seen students that have done great on standardized tests and haven’t done great in college and also has seen the other side: students who do great on the ACT but are not successful in school.

Despite of Mr. Pascoe’s thoughts, Marshall Vyletel still stands by his thoughts.

“There is a large amount of pressure with ACT scores because we are taught to believe that they determine how successful you will be in getting to a good college,” Vyletel said.

According to Hamka, colleges like well-rounded kids with lots of extra curricular activity and community services. Schools look at what kids do over and beyond the academics, so they know what type of people they are bringing into their university and program.

He said, “I urge all students when they are looking at colleges to look at colleges that are right for them.”

Long story short, try to be a little less stressed and have a little more fun.

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (

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