Essay On The Secret Lives Of Driven Kids By Alexandra Robbins

1015 Words 5 Pages
Colby Palmer


AP English Language and Composition

7 July 2017

The Epidemic of Overachiever Culture The Secret Lives of Driven Kids is a nonfiction book written by Alexandra Robbins who emphasizes the negative effects of modern American education. Robbins uses several specific examples from a group of nines students from Walt Whitman High School. Alexandra Robbins is an investigative journalist, lecturer, and author. She graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1994 and was the editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper, the Black & White. She also graduated from Yale University in 1998. She has written in collections of publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington
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As readers, it is easily recognized that “this is a book about how a culture of overachievers has transformed the school experience so greatly in even the last ten years that it has starling altered what it means to be a student today” (Robbins, 14). Robbins develops her argument through personal interviews with nine distinct students. Her purpose was to illustrate the life of an overachieving student in order to show the complication and extreme competition in modern high school education. She offers advice to her readers, the future high school students, and their parents, in order to try and make a stop to the rigorous and extremely experience that students call "high school" today. She mentions that “in present day America, school for many students has developed into a competitive frenzy. She claims that a school is a place where students learn to make mistakes and grow to find their identity. The idea that kids should be a kid is a reoccurring theme of the novel. Robbins supports her opinions through the interviews with the main characters. Sam, who is known to be a teacher’s pet and an overachiever, replies that “School takes over… The school does not let a kid live… create one of the most stressful environments I can imagine” (Robbins, 24). This shows …show more content…
This new approach creates a harsh shift towards over testing; as a result, this causes an extreme transformation on the college admission process. In a normal college application, the numbers are the only data that represents the ability of the student. SAT, that one score is what determines their future lives as an adult. She stresses this extreme shift in college admissions throughout the book, "decades ago college was a privilege. Now, getting into a college is war". Robbins describes that “When I was in high school, to get into one of the “good” colleges, well-roundedness was good enough. Today even perfect grades and SAT scores won’t necessarily guarantee entrance (Robbins, 14). Overall Robbins bashes the college admissions process and calls it corrupt she thinks that students are no longer guaranteed to attend their college of choice not by financial issue, but because of the harsh selection of admission

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