Pressure Affects High-Achieving Vista Students

Some say there is something special about the students that attend Vista del Lago–a certain drive and work ethic that is unparalleled. The high number of National Board Certified teachers contribute to the API scores and performance levels of the students, but one factor may push these students to success more than anything: their parents.

According to statistics of the education levels of parents at Vista del Lago provided by the registrar’s office, it was found that 88.2 percent of all parents are college educated. This is extremely high in comparison to other high schools and may be a contributing factor to the pressure put on students to achieve.

As today’s world progresses, the stakes are becoming increasingly high. Getting into a good college nowadays depends on more than simply achieving good grades. Admissions committees look for outstanding extracurriculars such as volunteering, clubs, dedication, sports and musical capabilities. Knowing that the competition is strong, parents do their best to motivate their children toward these qualities.

But can the pressure parents place on students at Vista be too high?

ASB President Keiko Tsuboi and Advanced Placement (A.P.) student Lauren Downing both say that the pressure they find themselves under is self-induced, rather than as an effect of parents.

“I only stress if I don’t meet the goals I set for myself,” Downing said.

The atmosphere that A.P. students find themselves in drive them to want to succeed more, and makes being smart a “cool” factor.

“I think its [the pressure] is reasonable. Although I may sacrifice some social stuff, they are trying to set me up to succeed,” Tsuboi said.

Former valedictorian and Vista alumni Zach Jaeger sees the situation in a similar light. “The only pressure my mom put on me was to make smart decisions in regards to completing my homework and doing well in class, but that was only in the interest of my future,” he said,  “That being said, I agreed with her.”

The pressure to do well may cause stress, but students at Vista may have an advantage when it comes to managing it due to experience with the fast-paced block system. Rather than having a negative affect on students, the pressure that parents place seems to have a positive effect on Vista attendees.