The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

Autonomy of over achievers

What drives these students?
Avery Eckley
Seniors Trenton Bonfiglio and Venecia Gonzalez lead the parade of graduating students through tunnels of the Wilsonville student body. Leaders among their peers and grade level, both Bonfiglio and Gonzalez served with the ASB crew and encouraged spirit/support school-wide.

What motivates students to power through the end of a school year? Once grades settle in, the reality of a student’s GPA hits. While some students ignite academic comebacks, others search for the determination to finish out the year strong. 

The definition of someone achieving success above the expected level describes an overachiever. Towards the end of the school year, students tend to waver between succeeding in or surviving the academic year. 

Today, many students would recognize the term “grind,” as a type of focus and hustle in executing something. Certain people who seem to excel in the “grind” often fall into the category of overachievers, as many students, (specifically), find it challenging to maintain this state of mind and energy for a long period of time.

People who get to the top of any organization are generally dysfunctional human beings who are overachieving, overcompensating or overbearing.

— Guy Browning

So what qualifies an overachiever? To some extent, everyone is an underachiever to their full potential of success. Every person has room for improvement, but overachieving typically describes someone who isn’t satisfied with being skilled in just a few select areas. 

“Just look at the standard and do better,” Wilsonville sophomore Halle Harris states. 

Overachievers want to succeed in everything. Academic overachievers often engage in multiple clubs and extracurricular activities, and usually sign up for rigorous classes. 

The term “overachiever” labels people loosely, and in a matter of fact, the majority of students would identify as overachievers themselves. When asked if she considers herself an overachiever, sophomore Bailee Van Meter replies, “Yes, I work hard. I think I’m a perfectionist, but it drives me to be the best version of myself.”

Although it may seem like a gift to be tagged as an overachiever, the diagnosis comes with its side effects. 

A second perspective on overachievers comes from Wilsonville sophomore Eden Best in saying, “If I don’t care about it, I won’t overachieve in it. I would define overachieving as obsessed: a person who goes out of their way to the best that they can.”

Overachieving can be associated as a personality trait; a lifestyle. The word isn’t one grown into like an adhered skill or proficiency area. Not only can overachieving tendencies ramify someone’s mental rest, but sometimes creates an imbalance between work and social life. 

Some overachievers believe their work and grades will fill an emotional void or define them as a person; the higher the GPA, the more worthy they seem. 

While high achievement is beneficial when accompanied by self esteem and maturity, it’s also a compulsive obsession; a mindset of perfectionism. 

Living up to the identity standard of an overachiever is a constant pressure to meet unrealistic expectations, which leads to a cycle of stress and dissatisfaction. 

There’s a difference between performing at a high level, and someone who only focuses on the outcome rather than the journey. Overachieving can be rewarded when hard work is recognized, but it also pushes students into the danger zone of burning out, (such as towards the end of a school year or sports season). 

Ask any overachiever, and they’d tell you a list of tips for performing well in school and how to “grind” in the fourth quarter. The list could include prioritization, reinforcement of routines/habits, constant self-discipline, intrinsic motivation, oriented goals, and the endeavor or a challenge. These qualities create a strong personality and a determined person, but do they shape a healthy mindset? Putting this idea into perspective, sophomore Kylie Weisgerber shares, “I want to be my best self for myself all the time. I think being an overachiever is a good thing, but I also think that sometimes we work ourselves too hard.”

Some students thrive off the idea of becoming an overachiever, but others could benefit from loosening up a little bit on the idea of all around perfection. 

Overachieving looks different for everybody. While some students such as Chris Pelayo, going above and beyond means showing up consistently for class, turning in work on time, and pursuing strong grades. To someone else though, this example of over-achievement would seem dissatisfactory. 

“I definitely think it’s, (overachieving), like a quality of perfectionism, and I think that people who are more prone to wanting everything perfect are the most willing to overachieve,” Harris mentions. 

Maintaining motivation throughout high school is important, but so is balance and rest. Besides, the greatest success and accomplishment often comes from participation, patience, and perseverance.