The Psychological Effects of Being the Best


Sofia Barnett, Cen10 News Reporter

With Frisco ISD being among one of the most academically competitive school districts in the nation, it is not uncommon for students to be constantly riddled with anxiety and stress resulting from the near unbearable desire to keep up with or surpass their peers in the means of academic excellence and often engaging in the pursuit of the unattainable status of perfection. 

The all encompassing chase after an unrealistic concept of academic superiority can be debilitating in regards to said high achieving students’ mental  health in the means of forcing them into enduring high levels of strife and overwhelming pressures in the maintenance of their scholastic standings, feeling overtly disappointed or even broken at the occasion of any slight failure. 

These plagued students, obsessed with meeting an unmanageable degree of in-school sublimity, are unknowingly setting themselves up to be pestered with an inevitable medley of mental, social and developmental problems following high school.

“If these students’ happiness comes from  perfection, then they’re never going to be happy. That’s just the sad fact of life,” said George Singler, AP US History and AP Psychology teacher at Centennial High School. 

“Students these days are just convinced that grades are the most vital thing in education, and they’re not,” said Singler, reflecting upon the misleading of students based off of the belief that only a 1600 composite SAT score and a 4.0 GPA will open up fair opportunities for their success.

Students whose minds are rigged into perceiving anything below a perfect score as a virtual crisis are bound to slowly spiral down into an inescapable cyclic void of living an unfulfilling life. 

Being the best of the best is fervidly misunderstood as living in a bubble of quintessential bliss, with peers often lusting after registering even remotely on their radar of success, without actually possessing an understanding for the harsh realities such high rankings often entail.  

Brydn Abraham, a highly successful student at Centennial explains the struggles he’s had to overcome in order to adopt a more accepting and vulnerable learning mentality to accelerate his educational prosperity. 

“For those who feel overwhelmed by an unreachable standard, change the standard to something that isn’t unreachable. Understanding your own potential and building off of that is the best way to meet the success destined for you,” Abraham states.

Stocking up on an unreasonable amount of AP classes and GPA boosters does not guarantee success and most definitely does not guarantee genuine happiness or a sense of accomplishment in any way. 

As the effects finally sweep these young scholars off of their feet, deteriorating what’s left of their psyche into a shriveled up skeleton of what could’ve done great things, students will be forced to reflect upon where they went wrong in high school, but by then, it might be too late.