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Standards and expectations of the Canfield High School student

Lindsay Davis and Marina Jones

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Social norms are regarded as collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct. They can be viewed as cultural products, (including values, customs, and traditions) which represent individuals’ basic knowledge of what others do and think that they should do.

To gain a better understanding of the norms and social pressures that students at Canfield High School experience, students were interviewed to gage standards set by themselves, family, and their peers.

Canfield High School holds their students to a standard of excellence. Nationally, Canfield High School is rated 9/10 in regards to academics and extra curricular activities. One student in particular that not only flourishes in extra-curriculars, but also in the classroom, is junior Jessica Lee. Jessica is on the tennis team, and is also involved in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Beyond her extra curricular achievements, Lee is a stellar student.

Lee shares, “My classmates view me as smart, and while I don’t necessarily feel pressured by my friends, the consistency of my good grades make my mistakes and downfalls a target for my friends to make fun of.”However Lee shares that, “ I often feel pressured by stereotypes. I am Asian, and because of how society views Asian students, it increases the amount of jokes that are made about my ethnicity and my grades. But, its not really offensive to me, especially when it comes from my friends.”

Jessica’s brother Max Lee, was a Canfield High School 2017 graduate who is enrolled at Stanford University, which sets a high bar for not only Jessica Lee to reach, but also other students of Canfield High School. In regards to the standards that her family holds Lee to because of her brothers high achievements, she says, “ They don’t  necessarily hold me to Max’s standard, but they expect me to at least strive to reach it. If I got a C in a class, that would be really bad, and my parents would definitley restrict me from activities outside of school, so that I can study more. They really only care that all I do, I do to the best of my ability.”

Jessica aspires to become a doctor in the future and says that, “my dad definitley inspired this choice. He is a doctor, and that is a big part of my motivation even now.”

While lots of societal pressures are experienced in an academic environment, students have a life outside of school, which attributes to outside pressures.

Canfield High School student, Tina Maalouf, is a former basketball player for Canfield, but due to a severe back injury, she was forced to quit the sport. Althought this experience was unfortunate for Maalouf, she says, “this was a pivotal moment in my life, because it led me to my modeling career.”

In 2017 , the International Journal of Eating Disorders published the largest study to date on eating disorders among professional models. This study was a joint effort between the Model Alliance and researchers at Northeastern University and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. According to their research, 68.3% of professional models experience depression/and or anxiety, 64.1% of models have been asked by agencies to lose weight for the job, and 32.1% claim to have struggled with various eating disorders.

After hearing of these statistics and social pressures in the modeling industry, Maalouf shares that, “…being tall and super skinny was definitley a huge advantage for me in the modeling industry. Although I have never experienced the pressures to lose weight, this does not invalidate anyone elses experience. In fact, I know so many girls that have been told to lose weight before photoshoots.”

Despite the fact that Tina has never experienced the pressures to lose weight, she says, “ I definitley put pressure on myself and being around so many beautiful girls all of the time can really get inside your head. I am not insecure about how I look, but I oftentimes find myself comparing my appearance to other girls and its not always a healthy environment.”

If Maalouf could give advice to other girls that have aspirations to be in the modeling industry, she says, “ Be confident in yourself before you ever even consider an industry like this. A lot of girls are hurt by different agencies and it can cause life long trauma and struggles. I got lucky with the agency that I am involved in.”

To conclude, students at Canfield High School face pressures in and outside of school. Experiencing pressures from society to perform, behave, or look a certain way is something that all individuals experience at some level, but it is truly how one handles it and how they stay grounded, that dictates the trajectory of your life.

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The student news site of Canfield High School.
Standards and expectations of the Canfield High School student