Student news site of Phoenix Military Academy in Chicago, IL

The Phoenix Chronicle

Peer Pressure

Kiara Balleza

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If you look towards your left and right, you notice some peers doing their work, maybe procrastinating, sleeping, or just trying to be the smartest kid ever. Spring is already knocking on some doors telling you that your time is almost up. Classes are almost ending, Exams are coming, and Cadets are already leaving to college. Where is the time to put your competitiveness aside and actually become friends?

When we come into this school, we are always told that there’s no such thing as having long term friends, only competitors. The one who can go to Depaul for this amount of money, who gets the Posse Scholarship, who has the highest SAT to actually have the chance to go to college, school is no matter of learning anymore in this school; it’s now only about who has the highest grades to become a battalion commander, who has the privilege to go to college, and who has the privilege to graduate with their hair slicked until there are no pieces of strand hair to get a detention on the last day of school. This is not learning, we are under peer pressure to become the “best” and knock down our peers to get a seat.

Although people can consider it as “Having high expectations,” or the “Phoenix really cares about the cadets and the quality of their work,” and let’s not forget how much accolades we got for letting the most hated Mayor come to our school and have ourselves plaster a smile on our face. High Five! Not the point.

We can all understand that Phoenix truly is a school that provides opportunities to join programs, get help, and of course have the chance to go to college, but the reason why we have these programs is to let us learn and practice, not use this for our resumes to show Professors, Instructors, or anyone prestigious to show what we’ve done over the four years.

I think we miss the chance of going back to that one time where learning was benefiting us, now we are just wolves trying to get a piece of that guaranteed success from West Point. Having these high expectations for us at such a young age is too much for us to handle. What ever happened to complaining only about the cafeteria food being horrible whereas someone as young as fifteen years is practicing the SAT. It’s good preparation, but we must all understand that we are just that: Teenagers.

We are normalizing the fact as we get more homework, studying, exams, applications to worry about; the more we don’t realize that things such as Anxiety Disorders and Coffee Addiction. But hey, in the end, we do get a 5,000 dollar scholarship that was totally worth it right?  

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Student news site of Phoenix Military Academy in Chicago, IL
Peer Pressure