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The Most Frustrating Things About High School (According To Students)

Closeup of high school students writing notes in classroom

Every student has thought it:

“I hate high school”

High school can be an overwhelming time for students, with more classes, harder assignments, and higher expectations.

This can leave many students frustrated with school, whether they are freshmen dealing with the high school transition or seniors preparing for college next year.

Find out what the worst things about high school are (according to the students) and what you can do to help your child overcome them.

The 9 Most Frustrating Things About Being A High School Student (And How To Overcome Them)

  1. Learning Things You “Won’t Need” In Real Life
  2. The Problem: Many students ask the same question: “When will I ever apply this to real life?”. For lots of students, it can feel like what they are learning in class won’t ever help them in life after school.

    The Solution: Find ways to apply what is being taught in class each day to real life. Practice writing skills by keeping a journal, or math equations by creating word problems. Even if your child doesn’t think he or she will ever use what’s being taught in the classroom, these things will help him or her build skills to become a better learner.

  3. Trying To Meet High Expectations
  4. The Problem: Expectations to get good grades in high school can lead to a lot of stress and frustration about tests, assignments, ACT/SAT scores, and college applications.

    The Solution: Set achievable goals for the semester—and do it early. Have your child aim to earn a better grade than he or she did in a subject last year, or do better on his or her next test. Making smaller, smarter goals that your child can work toward will help him or her set more realistic and achievable expectations.

  5. The Amount Of Homework
  6. The Problem: Many students are overwhelmed by the hours of homework they bring home with them each night. And after spending a full day in class, it’s frustrating to come home and spend more time on schoolwork.

    The Solution: Help your child keep track of assignments and homework with an agenda where he or she can write everything down. This will help your child better manage his or her time by looking ahead and getting started on assignments early, avoiding last-minute stress.

  7. Getting Involved In Extracurriculars
  8. The Problem: Taking part in extracurriculars during high school is emphasized as a way to make college applications stand out. But taking on these activities means students have less time for homework and studying.

    The Solution: Help your child avoid overscheduling him or herself by finding one or two extracurriculars that he or she really enjoys. Encourage your child to create a schedule so he or she can plan time for extracurriculars, schoolwork, and relaxation time. If your child feels like there just isn’t enough time in a day to get everything done, focus on one extracurricular that he or she is most interested in.

  9. Sitting Through Boring Classes
  10. The Problem: While students do have some choice in what classes they take throughout high school, some students might find that they aren’t interested in some of the classes they take.

    The Solution: Sometimes, there just isn’t an easy solution. Sometimes class subjects or teachers are boring. Chalk this up to a life lesson in learning to maintain focus and attention even when interests are elsewhere. If you can, find ways to connect the subject to hobbies or interests. Not every subject will be interesting every single time—learning to identify this and persevere despite boredom will serve students well.

  11. Stressing About Grades
  12. The Problem: As students progress through high school, grades become more important—especially for older students hoping to go on to college. This can lead to extra stress, which makes school a much less enjoyable experience.

    The Solution: Sit down with your child and look at what he or she has accomplished in high school so far. Reflect on a good grade he or she got on a test or in a particular subject. This will remind your child of what he or she is able to achieve, helping reduce stress and boosting motivation.

  13. Worrying About Social Issues
  14. The Problem: Stress about popularity and friendships can sometimes seem like the most important part of school, leading to anxiety and ultimately distracting students from learning.

    The Solution: Help your child strike a balance between extracurricular social activities and school work. Encourage your child to join a club or to focus on developing personal interests (while still making sure he or she is keeping up with school assignments). When students have a wide array of interests and skills, they are more likely to connect with others who have similar interests, helping reduce social stresses around popularity.

  15. Dealing With Stress
  16. The Problem: In high school, students face a lot of pressure to ace classes and exceed expectations so they can get into a good college. Dealing with this stress can be overwhelming, especially if your child doesn’t know how.

    The Solution: Don’t expect your child to be perfect. Help your child focus on the goals he or she has set and make a plan to achieve them, whether it’s creating a study schedule or making better study notes. Finding an extracurricular activity your child enjoys can also be a good way to take a break and relieve school stress.

  17. Understanding Your Classes
  18. The Problem: As subjects become more advanced, keeping up in class can be hard. Getting good grades can start to feel like an impossible task, especially in classes that students think are boring.

    The Solution: Encourage your child to create a study group or find a study buddy. Schedule days when the group can meet to go over what was learned in class. Having someone to study with means students can help each other in areas they’re having trouble understanding. If your child still just isn’t getting it, talk to his or her teacher or tutor for some extra help.

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