In today’s educational society there always seems to be segregation among students. Furthermore, these different groups always seem to have their own special titles. There are the “jocks,” the “preps,” the ever- classic “white-trash” and many more. But there is a certain breed of student that always seems to be either loved or hated. Society likes to call these people the “honor students. ” Honor students are always looked upon as the smart people, or perhaps the rich people, whose parents can somehow pay their way through the hard classes (ahem, ahem, yeah right.
But what is the real reason these overachievers are such overachievers? Why do they seem to strive against whatever odds to get a 4. 0 GPA, a 32 on the ACTs, or even something as simple as an A on some trivial argumentative essay (Covey 21)? Despite many other judgments, the reason these adolescents transcend every day society is simply because they care (Covey 22). So what about the kids who don’t care, the “regular” kids? Many people have many reasons for why these kids are not the honor students.
One popular belief is that they are more “well-rounded. It is an accepted pinion that these kids are not fanatical like the honor students, that they are more willing to accept what comes their way and to try to do what little they can and leave it at that. They supposedly have good control over their lives, and are able to balance their time between school and social life. However, this point of view is terribly false (Lynch 1). For example, who has more control, the child who learns to manage his time between a football game, a pizza, a movie, and ten minutes worth of homework, or the child who learns to manage his time between AP Chemistry, Honors American Literature, Key Club, Renaissance, band, and debate? The latter child will be more concerned with key issues not only in school, but also in later life (Covey 111).
He has put his own principles first and found a type of balance (Covey 26). Shirley Lynch has said this in speaking of students in honor’s classes, “… Children with an internal locus of control have an increased ability for impulse control, delay of gratification, and regulation of attention in classroom settings (1). ” The young man or woman who does these things will be able to more fully accept the esponsibilities presented to him/her throughout his/her years (Covey 111).
Nevertheless, our question has still not been answered; if these “normal” young adults are not better rounded, why are they not in the honor’s classes? Another stance is that non-honor students are not forced the way honor students are. Supposedly, parents can force their children into always trying for those top scores. Supposedly, the simple answer is that non-honor students have parents who are more accepting of who and what they are. Supposedly, the parents of honor students press their children to he point of desperation, where they must then get into as much of the hard stuff as they can so they can “fill the old man’s shoes.
While there is truth in the fact that parents and families can be a motivating factor (Evans 78), it is not true that parents force their children’s way through school (Covey 23). The real force that compels the honor students to excellence is the force of the future (Covey 217). These young adolescents look to what they want in their future and what they can make it into. They understand and take heed to the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it (Evans 69).
They take into consideration their enjoyments, and where those enjoyments can be found in college and later on in a full-time job. They bear in mind their families, their finances, their struggles, their joys, their talents, and their loves, and they make those choices that will lead them to the best education possible so they can have the best life possible (Evans 74). They force themselves. So if it is not force or “roundedness” that separates the honors from the non-honors, what is it? Oh, yes, no conversation about honor students would be complete without the word “smart.
The most popular way to look at honor students is to give them the designation of “the smart kids. ” These teenagers are looked at in some glorified way, as if their IQ is so high that they might start to float into the air at any minute. Non-honor students are then placed under the pedestal that the honor students are propped upon, left to feel as if they can’t do everything the honor students can. They gain the opinion of themselves that they are not bright nough, good enough, or enough, enough, enough until their list is longer than Santa’s.
But this is not true. While some honor students have special gifts and abilities, the majority of honors student are just plain old average (Lynch 5). The IQ of a young man in an Honor’s American Literature class could be just the same, if not less, than the IQ of some young women in a “regular” literature class (Lynch 6). The only real and true difference is that the young man cares. He has internal self-control over what he wants to achieve (Lynch 11). He, like other honor students, cares what happens to im (Covey 21).
He wants to make his life better, to show others what he can do, to make what he can of himself and of his talents so he can have pride in his work (Lynch 8). The young woman, however, will shrug things off. If she gets a B she’ll be happy. She won’t care. Excellence is not something that she has had to do in the past, so why bother with doing it now? She’ll just leave it to the honor students to get the A’s (Covey 16). So do that precisely, just leave it to the honor students, and in the meantime, take a closer look at them. Go ahead, pick up your head up from this paper and look around.
These are the kids who will spend fifty dollars on a class that prepares them for the ACTs. These are the kids that stay up night after night to read and study and ponder and learn. These are the kids that will read their essays over and over and over until they know that they are just right. These are the kids who will try to listen, and to accept, and to take in what it is you are telling them. Sure they’re not perfect, but they are the kids are shouldn’t be graduating “Magna Cum Laude,” but instead, simply because of how much they care (Yeager), should be honored with “Magna Care Lote. “