I appreciate the fact that these issues are being discussed. It would be great if some initiative was taken to fix the problem. I am a college student (Age 21) and I can also state with confidence that going to school and working full time has significantly contributed to my anxiety. The only thing I worry about at this point in my life is getting good grades so that I can get a good job, which in turn will hopefully lead to some sort of fulfillment later in life. Whether my life has any meaning or substanance has been put in the back of my mind to be reevaluated once I've finished meeting the extrinsic goals I set for myself. There are times when I do need to think about who I want to be in life, regardless of what career I have, but if its discussed with anyone (such as my parents), all roads lead back to getting a good job which will lead to my happiness (in theory).

In high school, everything was focused on standardized testing and there were few teachers who took what they taught and applied it with any kind of passion. I think in doing that, it cripples us because then we get to college and we are expected to think out of the box and to be creative, when we're forced to conform to a "in the box" way of thinking from K-12. I can recall very few instances where creative thinking was used in the classroom, and that is what I craved, and still crave.

As a product of what you speak of, and knowing others who are the same, I can only say that this is something everyone should take seriously. No child should be burdened with school the way they/we are. I believe parents have a vital role in this as well. My parents (more so my dad) is always pushing for his kids to do better in school and take more advanced classes, so that in the end we all can make it in to a good college to do it all again. If parents and teachers are pushing us, then it's their mindset that needs to be changed. There are too few who see the consequences of how the system works.

Also...
Rebecca M, it's very refreshing to know and learn from teachers like you. I can remember the names of about two or three teachers from my K-12 years that made a difference in my life through school. There should be more...