Class rank a continuing worry

Let’s be honest: I’m insecure about my class rank. I’m surrounded by rivalry between my peers to be in the top ten percent. Of course, this competitive spirit rubs off on me because I’m around it.  Colleges themselves consider top ten to be the best, and like everyone else, I want to be the best.

So much pressure is put upon high school students, and even middle school students, to earn not good but perfect grades so they can go to college and make money. A major emphasis is put on education – what you have to do to get it, and what it can get you later in life. I feel that doing well during high school is the only way to have a good life, one I won’t have to worry about money or even simply providing for myself without having to wonder whether or not I’ll have the money.

I used to not care about grades at all. I didn’t have to. I went to a small, boring private school all throughout elementary and middle school, where kids were given the minimum amount of work. No class was hard and I finished my homework within an hour, if I ever even had any. I came to Kerr because I wanted to be in AP classes and be more prepared for college. Moreover, I wanted a challenge. I had no idea how much of a challenge it actually would be.

My freshmen year I knew only two people, and I didn’t have classes with them. I had to start completely from scratch, because everyone knows a friend at Kerr is a friend that you can call for help on an assignment. Now that I do know more people, I’ve been introduced to something else: cheating. I understand that other people want great grades as well, and I get that people may feel like they don’t have enough time to finish their assignments. But what really gets my blood boiling is when I’ve spent the entire night finishing a PAK and come to school the next day to hear of people having answers to PAKs, tests, and projects. I don’t understand how someone can think that it’s entirely OK to use another person’s work as their own. It’s the complete opposite of what I was taught – do your own work, do the absolute best you can do, and then no one can ask you for anything more.

I don’t want to be associated with people who cheat on tests, let alone cheat myself. I’m always going to do my best, not someone else’s.

For me, education is always going to be first, at least for the next few years.