Alexandra Robbins

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Writer Alexandra Robbins writes a non-fiction expose following the lives of various overachievers at Walt Whitman High School. The purpose Robbins conveys in the book is that college admission expectations have made high school a very cut-throat environment, leading students who try to meet these expectations to have deteriorating emotional and mental health. Throughout the book Robbins uses strong forms of imagery to get across the idea that stress is negatively impacting many students health and uses shocking statistics to show that students are turning to self –harm and suicide to deal with stress. Robbins uses imagery in a scene of a Whitman student named AP Frank who acquired seventeen AP credits in the course of his high school career.…show more content…
For example “a student who failed a Chinese dictation exam leaped to his death from his high-rise apartment. He was seven” and that there was a “114 percent spike in suicide rates among fifteen-to-nineteen-year-olds between 1980 and 2002.” This powerful story about the seven year old shows that stress in school is appearing earlier and even young kids are pressured to be their best. The competiveness of school at an early age, therefore gives students an overachiever mentality during childhood which prohibits failing of any kind. Robbins uses the statistic of the 114% spike in order to convey that high school is getting harder and students are under more stress and they cannot handle this pressure. Many students feel as if there is no one to turn to because their parents and other adults did not undergo this excessive amount of stress when they were young. The anxiety is so crippling some think there is no hope that things will get better, or they are worried they will let their parents down that the easiest solution is dying. Stress in high school is a problem that leads many teens and children to suicide, and Robbins highlights this with the statistics

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