Who has it worse in highschool: men or women?

She may find herself staring at her reflection, wondering if she should take off her colorful cowboy boots and instead put on Ugg boots. He may find himself walking out the door, glancing back at his Algebra II textbook knowing he should study for his exam, but instead chooses to turn away. Four students helped answer the question of who battles these social and academic pressures more: boys or girls.

Madison Shead, freshman, said girls go through harder social struggles than boys and try to act and dress similar to each other. Shead said girls typically wear leggings and Ugg boots to school.

“Guys don’t care that much about what people think about them,” Shead said. “Girls do.”

Ben Neuhaus, senior, agrees with Shead, saying high school is harder for girls socially. There is more pressure to look and act alike, but if girls become friends with others who have similar interests they feel less social pressure, he said. However, Neuhaus said high school is more challenging academically for boys because trying hard is less accepted by peers and seen as “uncool.”

“It seems like teachers sometimes expect girls to try harder and don’t expect guys to, because that’s what [is] usually normal,” Neuhaus said. “It’s sometimes harder for guys to set themselves apart.”

Neuhaus said if a girl receives a low grade on a test, people think she had a bad day. However, when a boy gets his paper back and sees the low grade he was given, people assume he did not study. According to Neuhaus it is socially accepted, and even amusing to peers when boys get low grades.

Eric Eagon, freshman, disagrees saying girls have an easier social life because they appear to get along better with their friends. Academically, Eagon said high school is neither better nor worse for either gender because the experience is based upon the individual student.

“It matters who the student is and how they possibly have a relationship with their teacher, or how committed they are to school,” Eagon said.

Similar to Eagon, Valery Wehrman, senior, has a conflicted view of who high school is more difficult for. Wehrman said there is a lot of pressure for all students to act a certain way. Wehrman believes self-image is an obstacle many students try to overcome.

“People are different. It’s hard to know what each pe-rson is going through,” Wehrman said. “Every situation [a] girl goes through, a boy could be going through socially or academically.”

Wehrman said people struggle with situations like popularity and choosing which sports to play. In addition, Wehrman said deciding which classes to take is hard because some students worry if they do not take a certain number of Honors or Advanced Placement classes, people will think they are not smart.

“In reality, everybody should go at whatever pace is best for them,” Wehrman said. “It’s hard to say [pressures are]harder for girls or boys because it’s that kind of thing that crosses the gender line. Everyone feels something in a different way.”

Neuhaus said the best way for students to manage the multiple pressures at school is to be themselves. Students should find a social niche where they will be respected.

“Surround yourself with people who will accept you because that will be the best environment for you to grow as a person throughout high school,” Wehrman said. “Find your identity, change it or become comfortable in it.”

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