Perfect creates conflict

What appears to be a hallway full of tired teens walking from class to class is in reality filled with minds in constant stress about every detail imaginable. Every project or worksheet they are assigned feels terrifying and must be without flaw. This perfectionist mindset is sometimes a helpful motivational tool to have, but is damaging to the students marching through the halls.

Freshman Olivia Y. said perfectionism makes it hard to be a student. This is because no matter what she does she never sees it as good enough.

Perfectionism can be interpreted as both positive and negative.

Cody G., junior, said perfectionism has its advantages. Gifford said the strong attention to detail can lead to your work at school and at the workplace to be at the best of one’s ability.

Michelle Mimna, English teacher has conducted a study on perfectionism and concluded through her anonymous survey, of 706 entries, that 70 percent of students claim to possibly be a “perfectionist.” The results show over half said their main stress was academics, and 78 percent                                                

of students said they have mental and physical stress when it comes to academic performance. Also, 10 percent said that the stress from academics is debilitating and half claim stress affects their sleeping, eating and concentration habits.

“People think ‘If I’m not perfect I’m not worth anything . . . we have to think what we are doing as educators,” Mimna said.

Like Mimna, students agree there needs to be a change in the amount of pressure put on students.

“Olentangy is a very high-performance school so it makes everyone strive to push themselves so I do tend to be a perfectionist at most times,” freshman Sophia M. said.

Whether or not students desire flawlessness remains in the mind of the beholder. Other non-prefectionists claim the student is who decides how they will react to what life presents.

“I personally do not consider myself a perfectionist; I embrace my failures as lessons and use them as fuel to pursue my goals even more,” senior Justin Lapid said. “I believe that perfectionism is a self-destruction belief system that often stops its victim before they even gather the bravery to start. It’s the fear of failure that keeps us from reaching our full potential. A successful mindset is one that makes mistakes, learns from them, applies the knowledge and tries again.”