Competitive halls

In Editorials on October 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm

By: Drew Marshall

            I’ve realized during my years at Fort Mill High School that grades are very important. They are a lot more important than I ever thought before I started attending school here. I think the atmosphere at Fort Mill is different from many other schools in the way that grades and scores are seen as a competition. Some people, of course, are more competitive than others, but there will always be people who take it to a higher level. Some of that is good, encouraging students to do their best. However, if one were to take it too far, it will only bring negativity along with the added stress.

            I think it goes without saying that, at times, people would like to know what grades other people receive. I am guilty of that. It is natural to want to compare yourself to others, to validate your score by seeing other people who did worse or just out of curiosity. As I continue my senior year at Fort Mill, however, I see a dramatic rise in the curiosity of other people’s grades. People are becoming much more interested in other people’s grades and standardized test scores. It may not bother some people, who are secure in their academic achievements or simply just do not care. Others, like myself, consider this to be a private matter.

            One’s grades are nobody else’s business but his/her own. No one should be required to tell anyone his/her grade, class rank or SAT score, and I do not think anyone is forcing another student to do so. The thing is, people are attempting to find out people’s grades, one way or another. I think that people should be secure enough in themselves that they do not need to know anybody else’s grades. I admit, I do wonder what people receive on assignments, but there must be a limit. Individual grades may be trivial enough to share, but big picture grades such as SAT scores, class ranks and grade point averages are to be kept to oneself.

            Privacy can only go so far, however. If a student tells one person, they can be sure that everyone will know eventually. That is just the way things work at Fort Mill. If they did not want people to be competitive, they would not put class ranks on your report card every semester. Fort Mill High School is fed by competition and, to a certain extent, it is a good thing. People should feel motivated to keep trying their hardest. That is all one should do, though. If everyone tries their hardest, there is no need to be so assertive towards others. My advice to students at Fort Mill: don’t compare yourself to others, because in the end, you will end up depressed or obsessed.


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