Photo Rafaela Coelho
While many students worry at the mention of class rank, the thought of competition excites me.
Class ranks are first given halfway through junior year, but the effort and dedication towards achieving a high rank started when we opened the door on the first day of freshman year. They create a necessary sense of competition throughout the student body that helps encourage students to do their best work.
Society is not going to stop ranking, so why should school? There are so many things that are ranked in life: sports teams, colleges, restaurants, movies, albums, hotels, job performance. Class rank exposes kids to the competition of the real world.
Some students dislike class rank because it compares students to each other and causes unneeded pressure to succeed, but removing it will not eliminate self-inflicted stress and parental pressure.
Students who work their hardest every day deserve to be recognized for outstanding work. Class rank should be a tool to motivate kids to do better and work as hard as they can. Don’t we want our students to push themselves to work harder?
I am a good student, but I will not be number one in my class. I am not going tear myself up about it because I did all I could to the best of my ability. Instead, I will use my rank to motivate myself to work harder and improve in my classes.
Class rank causes some students to take harder classes to boost their GPAs. Taking harder classes encourages students to challenge themselves academically and potentially discover a new passion. I am currently taking AP U.S. Government, and it has gotten me more interested in politics and the coming election. Government is not a class I would normally pick, but I took it to improve my GPA and challenge myself as a student.
Students will put pressure on themselves regardless of whether or not class rank sticks around. Some kids will always feel like they are not good enough no matter how much higher their grades are than those of the kid sitting next to them. Unless you are actually number one, there will always be someone with a higher GPA and all you can do is work your hardest and challenge yourself to improve.
There are competitions in life that students need to be prepared for. Feeling pressure and stress is part of life. The real world is not catered to feelings, and kids need to learn that it is impossible to be the best at everything, but it is necessary to do your best.
School is competitive. Life is competitive. Class rank is simply a number, and it is your choice to let it define you.