Back when I was a student in high school, an overall average of 75% would guarantee entrance to almost any university program. Those days are long gone as the expectations keep rising and as post-secondary institutions demand high grades. According to an article published in Maclean’s Magazine, the average entering grade now is 85%.
The effect of these demands is huge on the Ontario high school students. Grade 12 has traditionally been a challenging time as students compete to enter their school and program of choice. Many of them hoping to land a scholarship to balance off the high cost of post-secondary education in this province.
With a competitive workforce and an ever-changing labor market, there is an increased pressure on students to get accepted into prestigious programs in the hopes of improving future employment prospect. This has created a demand for students to excel in their high school academics and extracurricular activities.
In her article: Perfectionism Is Increasing, and It’s Taking a Toll On Mental Health, Sara Briggs identifies 3 types of Perfectionism:
- Self-oriented perfectionism, wherein individuals “attach irrational importance to being perfect, hold unrealistic expectations of themselves, and are punitive in their self-evaluations”.
- Socially prescribed perfectionism, wherein individuals “believe their social context is excessively demanding, that others judge them harshly, and that they must display perfection to secure approval”
- Other-oriented perfectionism, wherein “individuals impose unrealistic standards on those around them and evaluate others critically.”
At the root of this perfectionism is anxiety, something which we have previously discussed on this blog. Anxiety in small doses is normal and can keep students on track with their learning. However, it is difficult to learn new concepts or access memory when overly- anxious. An educational environment where students are given the freedom to customize their pace of learning and set their own schedule may help alleviate the problem. At BrightMinds Online School, students are given the opportunity to work around their schedule, to set their own deadlines and to progress at a speed that works with their style of learning. As educators, we recognize that learning occurs through mistakes and it is ok to make errors as long as we learn from them. We firmly believe that with diligence, realistic expectations and kindness towards oneself, students can learn and achieve their academic goals. To learn more about our programs, contact us today!