How Fairview’s High Academic Standards Affect Students Everyday Lives


Avery Jefferies

Freshman Luca Kehoe works in the library.

Charlie Wenig, Carina Kehoe, and Avery Jefferies

Students are constantly faced with academic pressure and stress in high school. Between homework, SAT prep and extracurricular sports and activities, it’s no surprise that the pressure continues to build and can become too much for many people to handle.


In a six-question survey of the student body, 20% added a comment about using substances to cope, while 80% used healthy sources including exercise, friends, or mindfulness. Many of those students who used healthy coping habits also had decreased stress levels.


“Academic pressure pushes me to succeed,” said Alex Mizzi, junior, “but it can get to a point where you can get completely discouraged, and at that point it’s not a healthy pressure.”


According to US News, 78% of students at Fairview High school participate in AP courses. Even though students have a variety of choices for classes, including the IB diploma or AP courses, it seems as though some may be shamed for taking an average College Prep class. According to Mr. Bessett, a little under 2200 students currently attend Fairview, and out of those, 1350 are in IB classes and 450 strictly AP. There are 56 seniors pursuing the IB diploma and 54 juniors are on track for the diploma next year.


Mindfulness practice is a new source brought in to Fairview this year, mainly by teachers, in hopes to reduce the average students stress level. 54% of students who responded to the survey said that at least one of their teachers practice mindfulness on a daily basis.


Students have mixed perceptions about mindfulness.


“I think for me it doesn’t [help] but for some people it probably could,” said Bart Chen, sophomore. “I just don’t understand how it actually could [help] because it’s a waste of time.”


Parents offer another level of pressure that is placed on students.


“The pressure comes from [parents] just because of the schools I’m looking at,” said Izzy Munson. “I have to get good grades so the pressure is constant.”


However, Mizzi said, “[my] parents put pressure on me when I was younger to do well in school, but now I more set my own standards rather than them doing that for me.”


Even though Mizzi’s parents don’t put as much pressure on him, he still said that they care and want him to do his best.


Students feel overwhelmed by the amount of pressure that is put on them by their parents and their peers to succeed in school.


“I don’t think Fairview has that high of academic pressure but it keeps you where you need to be,” said Kate Ehrnstrom. This overall helps to keep students focused on their work.