I’m Going to Be a Doctor!

Recently, I was talking to my roommate, who also went to the same high school as I did, about the differences and similarities between our high school and UCSD. We came to the conclusion that the social pressure of our high school enforces the idea that everything needs a ranking. In other words, your performances in academics and involvement in extracurricular activities determined your worth as a person, as opposed to your actual character traits. We recalled how competitive our high school was and how it impacts students as they continue onto college. For example, we talked about how a former schoolmate, who I shall refer to as ‘M’, still unnecessarily comments about certain subjects in order to show that they are knowledgeable and can dominate the conversation, despite not providing accurate information. I think this stems from the peer pressure in high school where we constantly had to prove our intelligence to demonstrate that we are better than everyone else. Similarly, in Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality, he states that “comparisons [are] carried out when needed and almost without thinking about it…this development increased his superiority over the other animals by making him aware of it” (70). This comparison among high school students became second nature to us because being number one was what really mattered. With ‘M’, my roommate and I noticed that they still push themselves to attain that ‘pre-med’ status and become a doctor, just like everyone else, to show that they can do it too.