Class rank takes a toll on students’ mental health

It may seem logical that higher academically rigorous schools will get students into more prestigious colleges, but studies have shown over the years this may not be the case. As a high-achieving student, a realization occurs that one is surrounded by other high-achieving students as well – and someone has to be the lower rank. 

When transitioning from the middle school “big-dog” to an average student in high school, there are definitely going to be psychological effects that come along with a dropped rank. Students used to being at the high-end drop to the middle of the pack once they get to high school.

Studies from the College & Workforce Readiness have also shown that students who were ranked high in middle school and had their rank drop throughout high school were less likely to finish their freshman year of college. This is troubling because parents often attempt to enroll their children in higher-performing high schools for a higher chance of their child getting into a better college.

Parents and counselors should take a more holistic approach to what schools offer. Although going to a competitive high school sounds like the only option in order to end up at a “good” college, in this generation, that is not the case anymore.

Being fatigued and overburdened is a detriment to performing well in school.

Academic rigor can be necessary when producing engineers and lawyers, but in regards to school – it is stressful and overwhelming. Exams, finals and projects give students less time to sleep to get the (potential) “A”. They try to keep their high rank because colleges look at that rank. Right? 

Studies now show that colleges look less and less at class rank knowing most high-achieving students enroll in competitive high schools, ultimately competing with other “smart” kids. Plus, rank should never negatively affect one’s mental health. 

Being fatigued and overburdened is a detriment to performing well in school. Sleep is known to be the most beneficial quality to positive academic performance – and studies show in the 21st century that college students are not getting enough of it. 

College-aged students should get at least eight hours of sleep every night. However, the studies taken on college students show otherwise: less than thirty percent of students get those full eight hours, the average hours of sleep per night is 5.7, and an average of 2.7 all-nighters are “pulled” every month. The problem is that roughly ninety-four percent of college students are willing to sacrifice their precious sleep to improve their rank. 

Now, studies demonstrate that sleep deprivation ties to significantly lower ranks. Positive sleep patterns can improve memory; therefore, it is possible that waking up early in the morning instead of staying up until the morning will improve one’s studying and motivation and in turn, benefit one’s rank. 

An average adolescent student will sacrifice their mental health for the chance to possibly keep or slightly increase one’s class rank. However, these no-sleep hours add up over time leading to sleep deprivation which lowers one’s class rank in the end. Class rank may seem like the most important thing in life, but prioritizing one’s academic performance with sleep and positive mental health are much more essential in the end.