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`College Pressures` By William Zinsser

‘CollegePressures’ ByWilliam Zinsser

Collegestudents face pressure that emanates from all corners of their lives.As such, they underperform as they feel pressurized to provethemselves to the whole world. This paper will discuss the types ofpressure which college students face, and how they deal with thepressure. These forces include economic pressure, parental pressure,peer pressure and self-induced pressure as well. Zinsser stipulatesthat students accumulate more than $5,000 in loans after studying forfour years, and they are obligated by law to pay the loans one yearafter they graduate (293). Most of the loans are perceived to accrueno interest, but this is not the case. For instance, I had pressureafter graduating from college because I was aware of some loans whichI was supposed to pay.

Thepressure to get a good paying job was breaking me down, and I had nootherwise apart from paying my dues. Several students face thispressure, and some are affected to the extent of getting depressed(Ross et al. 846). On the other hand, women are also under morepressure in comparison to men, because they have to justify theexpensive education which they acquired to themselves, the societyand parents as well. One year after graduating, I struggled to get ajob to prove to everyone that indeed my education would not be wastedand that it was worth it. This kind of pressure is dangerous as itmay make the graduate commit some crimes to seem as if they havemoney, while indeed they don`t (Ross et al. 843).

Rossfurther stipulates that economic pressure goes hand in hand withparental pressure and that these two are conjoined (844). Somestudents have been known to take premedical courses with adetermination which is joyless. These particular students undertakethe activities of the medical field without any joy but will benoticed to be having so much fun in other facets of their lives. Ittranslates to the fact that the only reason they are partaking thecourse is that they get pressure from their parents. Parents pay theschool fees and expect nothing else but excellence from theirchildren.

Therefore,the college students only undertake the courses to make their parentsproud. When I was in college, I remember being told by my parentsthat excellence from me was a must and that their hard earned moneywould not only go to waste. In some instances, this pressure led tomy underperformance, and I was criticized because of this. It isworth to note that self-induced pressure and peer pressure areconjoined, and they start from the very beginning of the freshmanyear (Ross et al. 845). For instance, some students face terriblepressure from their roommates, because some of their roommates arebrighter and study during most of their free time.

Eachtime the students go into their rooms, they find their roommatesstudying, and this makes them pressured to study (Zinsser 294). Thispressure is then magnified because they pressurize themselves toread, and also get pressure from other students. In some instances, Iused to study not because I wanted to, but because other people weredoing it. This put me in a compromising situation because in somecases I had to choose between studying and attending socialfunctions. Then, I would usually opt to study over attending theevents because my roommate used to read most of the times. Therefore,part of my social life was ruined, and this exerted further pressureto me.

&quotFremontHigh School&quot byJonathan Kozol

Thosestudents who underperform are because they are in high schools thatdo not provide them with the conducive environment to perform. What Ithought after reading the article was is this how it is. Kozol startsby saying that at fifth or fourth-grade level is where the averageninth grade student learns at, while a third-grade student reads atthe same level or below. Therefore, this shows that studentsexperience difficulties when they are at school. The article alsogoes on to give the readers an idea about the school surrounding andsetting as there are mentions that the classrooms are located thatare nasty and windowless.

WhatKozol tries to portray is that the type of environment that thesestudents are subjected to affect their learning and their ability tofeel comfortable and focus will be disregarded because of theirsurroundings. In addition to this, the problems are further magnifiedas their classes have limited space since they are small. Students inthese classrooms feel as if their personal space is invaded and thismakes them feel irritated as their bodies are touching this,therefore, tends to be distracting and their morale to learn isweighed down upon.

Timemanagement is done poorly in Fremont High School as students areallocated a mere thirty minutes for lunch break and the cafeteriabeing far from the classrooms the students spend fifteen minutes ofthem going and coming back from it (Kozol 641). However, this isviewed as a stimulator to students as they will hurry to thecafeteria to have their lunch because they spent many hours in theclassroom before the lunch break. A typical school day at the schoolgoes on for 8 hours. Therefore, it is important for these students totake breaks such as lunch breaks to rejuvenate and eat which wouldgive them the deserved energy to carry on.

Theschool management or teachers are not supposed to expect thatstudents will be in class for the whole 8 hours that they are inschool. They need breaks to relieve themselves of the frustrations ofbeing bored in class as well as increase their concentration. Beforereading this article I had no idea, some people studied in suchconditions. I thought I had it rough in school and everything thatthe students in this article lacked I had it all, for it would justbe an appreciation of what I have and coming up with solutions thatcan aid such students (Kozol 44). Since the attention span ofstudents is low, it would make sense to give them breaks after every2 hours and their lunch break to be increased by another 30 minutesto make it 1 hour.

Indoing so, students will concentrate better in classes as the willhave relaxed in between the numerous breaks. There are also otherreasons for low grades at Fremont High School. Also, academicproblems are some of the main reasons for low grades. Studentsexpress their disgust in the physical conditions of the schools theyattend. Another issue is doing units that will not help them in theirmajor this is similar to what I did in my first semester I took threeunits which were nowhere near relevant to what I majored on.


Zinsser,William. &quotCollege Pressure-5.&quot (2009): 292-299.

Ross,Shannon E., Bradley C. Niebling, and Teresa M. Heckert. &quotSourcesof stress among college students.&quot SocialPsychology61.5 (2011): 841-846.

Kozol,Jonathan. &quotStill separate, still unequal.&quot&nbspHarper`sMagazine&nbsp9(2015): 41-55.

Kozol,Jonathan.&nbsp&quotFremontHigh School&quotp.641.