You Can’t Stuff This in Your Locker

By: Sabina Wex

Most people think that Asian parents are the only ones who much about their kids’ marks. On the contrary, lots of other parents who aren’t Asian, also care about their children’s grades. But everyone feels the pressure to get good grades to please their parents, even if their parents aren’t that strict.

On November 18th 2010, every NT student was stressed out. Was it exams? Was it presenting your speech?


It was report card day.

Report cards almost stress students out more than exams, because your parents are going to see how you’re really doing in your classes (you can’t hide your report card in your locker like you did with that 35 on your science test). Most parents don’t get angry with their children for bad marks, they are more disappointed. Unfortunately, disappointment can sometimes be worse than anger. Instead of upsetting you, your parents have made you feel guilty. And usually, all you want to do is make your parents proud, but your bad marks make you feel like you just took candy from a baby.

Not only do your parents get to see your marks, but they see how well you behave, too. Sometimes the conduct component can be even worse than the grades. Even if you’re doing well in the class, having a teacher say that you are disruptive or too talkative can sometimes can bother your parents even more.

Our parents are probably just trying to be helpful; they just want us to have a good life, after all. But the ways they address those concerns can sometimes come out as harsh and unfair. The reason for this is probably because marks weren’t as big a deal back then as they were now. Not as many people went to university, so there was no reason to need high grades and have a million extracurricular activities.

Nowadays, there is so much pressure to get into university. The majority of NT grads go to university—not college, the army or the workforce. Our society views university as part of the cycle: school, university, work. So without high grades you can’t complete this cycle. Sure, you could do one of the other post-secondary options, there’s nothing wrong with any of them! But many parents today are pushing their children towards the university route, which isn’t always the smartest thing. Mike Holmes, a professional contractor, says that Canada has less and less tradesmen every year. In 10 years, tradesmen will make a lot of money if this deficiency continues. And where do tradesmen get trained? College—not university.

Parents need to stop stressing their kids out; it’s stressful enough being a teenager. School and friends can be a handful sometimes, but home is supposed to be a place where you can get away from it all. And when your parents are nagging you too, you’ll just be even more stressed. Too much stress isn’t good for learning, so you’ll just end up doing worse and then the cycle will start all over again. And that cycle isn’t one you want to be wound up in.