Why Do Kids Not Enjoy School?

Nearly every teenager you talk to will tell you that they dislike school. Education is not supposed to be miserable, to my understanding it’s meant to be a place where children can learn and grow in a positive environment. This brings up the question, why do kids hate school? 

A lot of students dislike academics because bluntly, it’s boring. Sitting for six to seven hours with little breaks and being forced to retain large amounts of information you rarely have interest in is not only difficult but draining. The way our education system is built makes it unbearable for most kids. 

“I don’t have a lot of motivation to do my work because a lot of the work assigned to us is just busy work, it has no value or purpose,” stated Reese Smith ‘25.  

Schools are filled with children with different interests and desires, we shouldn’t all have the same curriculum requirements. For students who are unsure of what they want to do after high school, taking a wide variety of classes can help students narrow down their interests. On the flip side, students who know what kind of job they want to explore outside of highschool should be able to fill their schedule with more career specific courses.

“I dislike school because I don’t see the value in a lot of the content we learn in various classes. I feel like we won’t use a lot of this information later in life so it just causes unnecessary stress.”

— Kyla Hohense ‘25.

Many students feel unprepared for the real world after high school. A study from Everfi.inc showed that only 25 percent of high school students feel properly equipped to manage basic personal finances. High school is meant to guide students to feel ready for the world after graduation, but students feel that they are not receiving the necessary information.

“We need to learn things that are more valuable…learning more real life skills, things that could actually benefit us.”

— Reese Smith '25

All students learn differently, we all have different teaching styles that are most suitable for our educational needs. The system in place now is tailored to be a perfect fit for one type of child, somebody who has the ability to sit and listen for hours on end and still perfectly retain the material. Many students aren’t equipped to learn like that, a study by understood.org showed that 1 in every 5 children in the U.S. have learning and thinking differences such as ADHD or Dyslexia. These mental challenges create great struggle for students trying to learn in the current academic structure. We shouldn’t all be expected to learn the same when everybody processes information differently . 

“I struggle learning at school because of the lack of focus and teaching styles,” Hohense stated.

School puts a major strain on teenage mental health. Recent statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health revealed that nearly 50% of adolescents in the United States have experienced a mental disorder at some point in their lives. This research is extremely alarming and a poor reflection on our education system. Youth mental health concerns don’t always stem from conflicts at school, but educational stresses such as academic pressure, feeling overwhelmed from tests and assignments, bullying, etc make things worse.

“There’s that pressure to get good grades and do good…I’m always anxious about my grades,” states Smith.

Teachers often pile assignments on students expecting them to be done at home. They don’t always take into account that students already have a life that they are dealing with outside of school hours. Many kids have to work or participate in some kind of sport or other activity after school, by the time that they are done they have tons of homework to do in an impossible time frame. Either they don’t do it, or they lose sleep and valuable downtime to cram all the work in. This can be extremely overwhelming and stressful for students. 

“You get tons of assignments on top of each other and you don’t know how to manage it all. You get really stressed and anxious from it,” said Smith. 

Nearly one out of every four students has experienced some time of bullying in their educational career, this statistic form pacer.org only takes into account the cases that were reported. As somebody who has faced bullying, I can say at the time it took a huge toll on mental health and I lost all motivation for school. Peer mockery and unkind remarks discouraged me from my education. The school barely did anything about it. As a community, the staff needs to be aware and intervene with social conflicts around the building.

The current education system is fraught with issues. These problems cause students to have a negative outlook on school. As a community, if we tried to work harder to address the academic and social conflicts present in our highschool, we could make education not only more enjoyable, but successful.

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