It is hard to write a comment to the “Suicide on Campus and the Pressure of Perfection’ NYT article; it is heart wrenching to think about kids feeling that they’ve somehow failed at life because they aren’t perfect in school.
There is ridiculous pressure, competitiveness, in our society from parents. Will your child getting straight A’s guarantee that they are a better employee? No. Will your child getting into an elite school outweigh mediocre job performance? No.
When I got stressed over grades in Uni, my mom would say “what’s the use of getting worked up till you burn out?’ I think that is an astute question. What is the point of running yourself into the ground, of making yourself miserable when a 3.0 will give you the same degree as a 4.0?
I do agree with the article and the comments made about “helicopter/lawnmower’ parents. I don’t think they’re doing their children any favors. How are they going to cope in the real world? Their moms/dads won’t be able to sit in on their job interviews, or negotiate a raise with their boss, or come in to bully the admin staff when they don’t get the lunch break slot they want.
I was surprised to not to see comments addressing debt, maybe I missed them. For me, and for people I know, educational debt is a big stressor. It puts pressure on students not to fail because failure puts them farther in debt, or is a waste of money you don’t have.
I think Active Minds is a good organization and their goal, to raise awareness about mental health issues on campuses, is an important one. I think peer awareness and support can do a lot for students. However, I think that parents also need to be more aware of how they are affecting their children. The stress to excel, to get into a “good’ school starts in high school. Once it becomes a habit it’s hard to break.