Fight for the top

Students compete for class rank


Photo by Macy Maynard

Students listen to important information about Southern Arkansas University. Many strive for a high class rank to go to the college of their choice.

Story by Dakota Dennard, Staff Writer

All-nighters, overachievers and dreamers. The ranking system for high school can be a brutal experience. 

Today, to get into a competitive college, students usually have to have a high ranking in their class. This can lead to stress, depression and unrealistic expectations.

To be a top student, for some it a mindset that anything below an A is failing. This idea forces students to excel because they strive to meet their goals, but when these targets are not met, the outcomes can harm the striving teens’ mentalities.

“If someone else isn’t pressuring me to do my best, then I’m pressuring myself,” sophomore Sophie Keller said. “I’m pretty competitive when it comes to my grades.

One thing these perfectionist students have in common is they are competitive when it comes to ranking. They are constantly looking for ways to excel in the constant battle of class rank.

“I am partially attempting to be number one in my class to look good on college resumes and to get scholarships, but I am also doing it because I am a very competitive person,” junior John Thomas Borowitz said. “It would hurt me the rest of my life if I didn’t give full effort and lost.”

The work these students are putting in now will hopefully pave the way to a path of success in the future. However, in the present, this studious work can have both positive and negative mental effects. 

“It feels good, honestly,” senior Charity Gellington said. “Sometimes, I feel like I need to do better, but that’s just my personality.”

It is a constant grind to surpass the other top students. These students can’t miss an assignment, fail a test or have something unsatisfactory going on their record.

“There are some days when I want to just not do my work and say, ‘Forget it,’ but then, I cave and do it anyway because the fear of getting a bad grade is greater than my desire to relax,” Keller said.

These students have activities and extracurriculars outside of school, but they have to make sacrifices to reach their goals. This helps them receive a higher ranking than those who do not make a school a priority.

“I have a job, but I don’t work during the school year, so I can keep up with my school work and other extracurriculars,” Gellington said. “I have to sacrifice some of my social life because of the homework.”

Most students can move up rank and reach the top of their class if the student would give it their all. For a student to succeed, they just have to plan ahead and work at it to the best of their ability. 

“My advice to a student attempting to move up rank would be to constantly give as much effort as possible and always stay on top of your work,” Borowitz said. “If you feel as though you are struggling, almost all teachers are willing to help you at any time.”