Class Rank: Utterly Meaningless?

"If we are going to rank a group of 274 students, we should do so with the idea in mind that they are all different."

Andrew Raychawdhuri

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     It’s that time of the year again. The time of year where seniors are anxiously preparing for their lives after their last year of high school and where the stress level reaches a maximum. With college applications being sent out and people preparing to find jobs after high school, there surely can’t be anything else for seniors to worry about? Well,there is and it’s called class rank.

     Now I am sure most of you are familiar with class rank, but just in case you are not, it is when every student in the graduating class is ranked based on their GPA. Each student’s rank is mailed home and students are given the opportunity to see their overall GPA and how it compares to their peers. For some it is a chance to rejoice at their success and hard work over the years but for others it is the cause of great anxiety. It is yet another opportunity for people to compare themselves to their classmates.

     I do not believe anyone is happy when class rank comes out. It is not a time when students rejoice but it instead causes great misery for many students who wonder what they did wrong. Many students begin to question themselves and their ability. It is just another way to sift through the masses and another way that the value of individuals are diminished.

     To me it is utterly meaningless. We are told from birth that everyone is different and that no one is the same. We are told that the individual differences among us it what makes us strong. So why, then, do we allow ourselves to be rated and divided in such a way? We have become a society that focuses too much on numbers and test scores. If we are going to rank a group of 274 students, we should do so with the idea in mind that they are all different.

     Why not rank the senior class on how they treat others? Or perhaps how good they are at sports/music? Or maybe even on how hard each individual student has worked to be where they are? Every student is a unique individual and deserves more than just a number on a page. Class rank does accurately represent any student and all they have achieved.

     We should not reduce our value to one number. We are better than this and class rank merely causes more stress and disappointment to an already stressful senior year and no student deserves that. Senior year should be a time to rejoice at all the hard work that students have put in over these past 4 years not a time to worry about how well they rank among their peers.

     So I give this advice to all students worrying about their class rank or feeling disappointed in any way because of it: look at that paper, look at that number, and feel proud of all you have done in high school whether it be academics, hard work, sporting achievements, musical achievements, artistic achievements, other extracurricular achievements, or even just being proud of the person you are today.

     Think about all those things as you look at that number and then throw the paper in the trash. Understand that it does not define you and that there are more important things in life than a number on a page. Forget about that silly number and don’t let it alter who you are and most of all don’t let it affect the rest of your year. I would like to congratulate every senior on all they have achieved. You all deserve recognition for everything you have done in high school and good luck for the rest of the year. 

 

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