‘Kids who hate Saratoga’ should stop bashing, start appreciating

April 3, 2008 — by Falcon Staff

The general feeling among many Saratoga students regarding the school’s competitive nature, exemplified by a Facebook group called “Saratoga Kids Who Hate Saratoga” targeting both the school and the city, has once again brought to the forefront the question of whether SHS is too academically oriented for its own good.

This widespread obsession with homework and test scores has not only become synonymous with the school but has inspired unfavorable student response in the form of apathy and indifference. Students cite a lack of awareness within Saratoga, a deficit of activities for teens and the aforementioned overtly academic atmosphere as justification for denigrating the school and city.

While these may be valid arguments, many dissenters fail to take into account the myriad advantages of living in Saratoga and attending one of the best public schools in the nation. Teens living in cities as nearby as San Jose not only have less safety in their communities, but also do not have the opportunities automatically available to students attending SHS. Rather than fearing the prospect of receiving a “B” on their next report card, these individuals possess a real fear for their safety.

Instead of criticizing the school and the city, students should feel grateful to be part of an atmosphere that, while competitive, fosters educational development and provides an environment in which they can succeed later in life. The level of security afforded to students in Saratoga is rare, even in this country.

Saratogans don’t have to worry much about unsafe neighborhoods or late-night robberies or paying thousands of dollars for a halfway decent private school education. The Saratoga bubble, disparaged though it may be, allows students to focus on their futures instead of fighting for survival.

The results of such focus become clear when college acceptance letters arrive. UC Berkeley, a reach school for most students in most schools, is attainable for many students at SHS—the school receives at least 30 graduates from Saratoga High every year.

With results such as these, it becomes imperative for SHS students to understand that while other students must cope with large-scale troubles, Saratogans have life-changing opportunities presented to them throughout their high school career—and that is one reason to never complain.

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