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Are kids today under more pressure to succeed than we were?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Mrs. VR, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Mrs. VR

    Mrs. VR Sharon, you will be missed.

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    This is our first year in the public school system and tonight we had a new parents meeting at the high school for kids who will be freshmen in the fall. Our oldest son has very specific career goals. He wants to be in military and he wants to fly. His ultimate goal is the USAF academy, but his "back up plan" (his words, not mine) are ROTC with some type of math/science degree, THEN fly. (flying is not negotiable here)

    He's applied to and tested for our county Math/Science/Computer science magnet, as well as the IB program (another "back up") but we won't know til sometime in February if he got in or not, so we went to the meeting tonight to find out about registration/options, etc at the local school.

    The local school turns out to be in the top 2% of high schools in the US for rigor, and they have a "signature" program that is an AP scholar program. AP courses start in ninth grade. They ALSO have a new pre-engineering program through "project lead the way" (www.pltw.org).

    So now, his choices are; magnet school, AP scholar program, pre-engineering program, ALL of which provide some college credits as far as I can tell.

    Add to this that in 8th grade, he is already taking two courses that will count for high school credit, and towards his final GPA.

    So basically, in 8th grade, you can totally screw up your entire future, either by performing poorly in your high school credit courses, or by making the WRONG DECISION when you pick your 9th grade schedule!!!

    SERIOUSLY!!! It makes ME want to eat a bottle of tums, and I already HAVE my degree.

    I don't remember having this kind of pressure when I was in school. Of course, I didn't go a military/math/science route, but STILL!

    Has it always been this...competitive?

    eta: I think the best thing for him to do is going to be contact the academy, tell them what his options are and see what they recommend. I mean, that's the gold standard here, and it's not like it'll hurt him anywhere else.
     
  2. Arquebus12

    Arquebus12 Non-broccophobe CLM

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    I don't believe there's more pressure, and believe the opposite to be true, as the impetus to "succeed" is not as crucial as it was a generation or two removed. I attribute that to the high standard of living we enjoy as Americans, where the economy is far more involved with service industries and general distribution of goods versus the agricultural-based lifestyles of the first part of the last century. This translates into better schools, and ample opportunities for damn near everyone.

    What you're describing for your boy is a plateload, that's certain, but I'm positive he can handle it and not only complete it, but excel, too. All things worth doing are difficult, and while I'm certain there's risk involved, (damage to his school record), I don't think that it's anything insurmountable should he tank an exam or two.

    Wish him well for me. You got plenty of reasons to be proud of your family.
     

  3. sputnik767

    sputnik767

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    If you want to go to the top, the competition is very hard. I have gone through a lot to make myself competitive for medical school, and thankfully, this year it paid off. And yes, I have taken high school level classes in middle school, which counted towards the final GPA. What I like about or school system (and the system in general) is that if you really work hard, you can be extremely successful. They say that our school system in general is bad, but I disagree. I feel that it is simply geared towards those who truly want to succeed. Although, the fact that those who don't really care can't do even remedial math and reading is shameful, but I blame the people for that, not the system.
     
  4. Hound_dogs_01

    Hound_dogs_01

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  5. DriBak

    DriBak GUNS UP Millennium Member

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    It is no tougher. I took HS courses in the 8th grade that tanked my HS GPA, I took AP classes in HS as well, it was very competitive. I graduated HS in '86 #44 out of 500. Went to a major Texas University (UT) was not mature enough, my path took me to JUCO, then to the Army, then back to JUCO and then I completed my bachelors 23 years later Summa Cum Laude.
    Does he have the eyesight and height to "fly"?
     
  6. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    It sounds like you have an excellent option for him. My son wanted to get into engineering (he did) and wanted to know what high school classes to take for prerequisites to engineering. The school filled out a class list for him. I looked at it and had it changed, turns out the teachers had no idea what was necessary for engineering college. (they informed me of this after we talked).

    You should stay well up in the "loop" while he is working to his goal.
     
  7. turbostar66

    turbostar66

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    Yes. There is more pressure. More information, more to learn, and things are as competitive as ever.

    In my parents day, a college degree meant something. Today, a college degree is the bare minimum...an MBA or higher degree is needed to set yourself apart.
     
  8. Jade Falcon

    Jade Falcon WTF EREN?!

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    I don't believe they're under more pressure, but rather, the times are simply different. If anything, I believe it's harder than ever for people to suceed in the current world that we live in.

    Think about it: 50 some-odd years ago, depending on where you lived, you either worked in the coal mine, worked on a farm, or you went into the military. Mothers often told thier daughters to "marry rich men", because they were expected to stay home, cook, and clean, while the man went off and made the living. 50 years ago, you were thankful to have a job that brought you a few cents an hour, back when a loaf of bread costed roughly $.25 cents. If you were one of the lucky priviledged ones, you MIGHT have gone to college, then on to a big-earning career in some major city.

    Today, you can have a highschool degree, nothing else, and if your driving record is clean, you can get into a truck-driving company at 21, making upwards of $50,000/year (I know that's pushing it, but many truck drivers, even in thier mid 20's/early 30's make upwards of that). Yet, if you go to college and bust your *** for 2 to 4 years for a Criminal Justice degree, you end up working for $9.00/hr at some security company, if you're not fortunate enough to get into Law Enforcement or other government work; both of which are very hard to get into, even with a college degree.

    So, in conclusion, I would have to say that today's young folks have it harder than ever before. There are SO MANY things to do in this world today, as oppose to yester-year, when there were only a few.
     
  9. Andy W

    Andy W

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    Wow! I am very impressed with your son. I wish I had that kind of drive and direction when I was his age.

    Yes, I think that, in general, kids today are pushed harder to succeed than they used to be. Just look at all the activities with which parents involve their children these days. My grandma tells me that this was unheard of when she was a kid. Back then, a kid's job was to be a kid; care free.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  10. sputnik767

    sputnik767

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    I agree with this. A bachelor's degree is really not worth that much anymore, simply because there are so many college grads out there. And yes, you can come out with a real bachelor's or even master's degree (not talking about criminal justice or communications major), and make little money, compared to how much you could make as a truck driver for example. But of course with a bachelor's or master's, you have room to grow, whereas a truck driver is pretty much at the limit of what he can achieve.
     
  11. Wyoming

    Wyoming

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    NO. I think when my parents grew up in the Great Depression compares nothing to what we or the kids today have to deal with.

    Kids think if they don't have a car, cell phone, their own room, the latest clothes, and so on GIVEN TO THEM that they are being mistreated and suffering.

    The same thing that worked for my parents that they taught me will work for kid today.

    Work hard and stay in school, don't do drugs, don't steal, do your chores and be responsible for yourself. If I wanted something they didn't think I needed I was told I could save my money and buy it. Their way of teaching me money.

    Also, don't make babies. My Mom would tell me "don't get a girl pregnant that you don't want to see across the kitchen table every morning for the rest of your life".

    My parents are gone now but not what that taught me. One of the most important things they taught us kids was to be independent.

    So many grown kids (over 18) today are dependant on their parents or grandparents because they missed the boat. More than 1 out of 5 drop out of school in this country. How is that an option? What kind of future citizen will they become? They can't finnish school because it too hard? Would you want to hire them?

    Sorry for the rant

    :rant:
     
  12. glockdoc21

    glockdoc21

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    It's no more competitive. I started taking tough classes in Middle School, and I'm STILL taking tests all of the time now. If you want to do something cool, it's not an easy road...
     
  13. Marine8541

    Marine8541 iseedeadpeople

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    I'm in the middle of this right now. I have an older son who won a wrestling scholarship and being an athlete I knew and understood the kind of time and dedication it took to get a Div I athletic free ride. I thought that it was the most competitive and cutthroat thing that I had ever witnessed outside of the military. Fast forward a few years and now I have a daughter who's second in her class at an academically nationally ranked HS and probably because I'm a dumb arse, it never dawned on me that these people put just as much time and dedication into their academics and OOA (other outside activities as her counselor puts it) than any athlete does.

    Is she under pressure from me? A little because I want my kids to succeed and I don't want them spending the better part of their adult life carrying a rifle in the USMC and frankly I lucked out more than planned it out with my current business. I know she's also under pressure from some teachers but I also know that I can no more keep her from her studies, Academic bowl, volunteer work, athletics, Church duties than I could keep my oldest off the mat and out of the weight-room.

    It's a fine line to walk as a Parent, while I want to encourage my kids and push them I don't want to be that Dad who is a jerk in doing so. I also try to keep it realistic for my kids and when my oldest was 12 all he wanted was a national championship, my oldest daughter wants to graduate Harvard med school. On both we'll see and now that I've rambled on I can say yes it always has been so competitive but when you have a highly gifted kid who's also driven then it takes it to a whole different level.

    BTW for anyone who thinks I push my kids too hard I have a 13 YO daughter who just like Dad, a class clown who is a straight C/B student who. All our kids have different gifts and abilities and it's up to us as parents to know when to push, add pressure and when to let up on the gas but it's even harder to do when your kids are driven.
     
  14. Hyksos

    Hyksos

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    As someone who just graduated college and has little brothers in college and high school I can say that I believe kids are under more pressure to succeed than earlier years (or rather my understanding of earlier years.) I think that today a college degree is a bare minimum and that skipping out on college is seen as 'not succeeding' so that places a large number of high school graduates as feeling like they did not 'succeed.' Also, what used to be somewhat acceptable (highschool diploma) in this world is not acceptable because I believe the immigration influx has caused the need for a college to degree in order to be separated from the 'general labor population.'

    My brothers tell me that in their high school, the same one I graduated from in '04, there is now Nursing, Law Enforcement, and Business programs where certain students wear certain clothes to school based on their educational focus. For instance, the law enforcement kids wear a sort of 'police uniform' while med students wear scrubs and business people wear suits. This is all included within their specific school of study, this is absolutely alien to me and I only graduated in 04!
     
  15. farley45

    farley45

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    It is never too late when speaking about education. Just because you choose to start at one point, does not mean that you can't go a different direction and accomplish whatever goals you set. The main thing is to have goals and backup plans in mind.

    In my experience (will be finished with undergrad in May) many (if not most) change their area of study within the first year or so. Heck, I changed mine as a Junior:faint:. Many times you never know if you will actually enjoy the work that you will be doing with a degree until you get into some of the useable and practical course work. I tacked on a year to my schooling, but I am much happier for it.
     
  16. Mrs. VR

    Mrs. VR Sharon, you will be missed.

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    See, that's kind of my point...how do you know by 8th grade exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life? Heck, I'm 39, with a BS and I still don't know what I wanna be when I grow up!!
     
  17. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    I think one problem today is that kids aren't allowed to fail, or to fall down.

    You learn as much by picking yourself up as anything.

    Now days kids are held all the way out the door of high school.

    Is it any wonder then, they find the real world so "tough"?
     
  18. mdglocker2340

    mdglocker2340

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    I am not entirely sure that anyone really has to know what they wanna be. Just that they have to tools to succeed. Yes, I know, sounds like an annoying after school special saying. Yet still, my nephew at age 9 absolutely racks my brain with some of the stuff he comes home with. I just keep telling myself, "with all the technology changes in the last 5yrs....its gonna be huge when he gets out there". I wouldnt at all limit a child to what I feel is enough. If they show the potential to get out there and do the best. I'll damn sure figure out a way to help them get to it.
     
  19. TurboRocket

    TurboRocket

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    If there is more emphasis on education, then it very well might be correlated to the macro shift from manufacturing jobs to service sector jobs in the U.S.

    Anecdotally, however, it seems like all kids care about these days are iTunes, ring-tones, texting, and MySpace. I know this is not true, but that's my general perception.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  20. farley45

    farley45

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    Some do, but many do not.

    Some get to college and find out that despite the fact that they had always been told that they can do anything, they cannot. Real world factors like intellectual abilities and medical issues prohibit people from going a route they initially chose. The medical issue affected me and caused me to re-think my career goals and I decided a change of major was in order.

    My point was you just have to make the best decision you can and go from there, with the understanding that future events may cause a deviation from the initial path.