Complaining reinforces negativity


Stuti Upadhyay

At MVHS, I encounter it everywhere. I hear it from the students in the hallways; I see it in the graffiti written in Sharpie in the girls bathrooms; I feel it in the environment during a stressful week or after a hard test.

“It” is the constant complaining — the fierce animosity to anything and everything MVHS. The constant conviction that our school sucks and that we’ve been especially wronged by the universe for having to attend it.

It’s so competitive. Our school is so much harder than other schools. We’re all just set up to fail. Our teachers are awful. No one has a social life. Everyone’s a snake. Admin doesn’t even care. Our sports are awful. The campus is ugly. Our dances are lame.

It seems like there are an infinite number of reasons people complain and condemn MVHS. But here’s the thing — at the end of the day, our constant complaining does nothing to help the situation — rather it makes everything so, so much worse.

Unarguably, MVHS is a difficult school to attend. In 2018, we were ranked #7 in National STEM rankings and #13 in high schools in California, recognized by Newsweek and the U.S. News and World Report for high achievement. However, as any MVHS student knows, this high status comes with large amounts of stress, pressure and competition.

Our classes are hard, our standards are high and our workload is strenuous. And we complain about it all the time.

But for the sake of our own mental health and happiness, it’s time we stop.

As cliché as it sounds, nothing gets better when we complain to ourselves and our friends. Our teachers aren’t going to magically hand out all A’s. The competitive environment will not disappear. We’re not all of a sudden going to have a perfect school-life balance. Rather, we’re just reinforcing negative ideas and negative viewpoints.

Personally, if I am surrounded by people who are always sad and angry, my mood echoes those feelings. But if I am surrounded by people who are happy and positive, that positive energy is reflected in my own feelings. And according to a U.S. News article, that’s the case with most people. Positive and negative emotions are easily, and oftentimes subconsciously, passed from person to person.

Although we may say it’s our own choice to wallow in self-pity, this negative attitude hurts others. If we want to feel happier about school, then we need to start acting like it. Stop complaining and start seeing the positive side of things.

And whether we realize or not, there are a lot of positive things about MVHS — things that we should be more grateful for. Many of our parents have moved to Cupertino, accepting the absurd cost of living, just so we could have a great education.

Although school may be extremely difficult, this is only because we are learning at a much higher level than the average high school student, something that is clearly represented in our rankings. We’re lucky to go to a school where we can gain an education that better prepares us for college and beyond.

And although the environment is competitive, it forces every student to work harder. If we all went to a school where no one did any extracurriculars, we probably would just sit at home every day after school. We probably would never find summer activities that teach us new things. But the high level of achievement forces every student to put their best foot forward and find opportunities to do more at every turn.

Although we may not have the best social life, spending breaks studying or prepping for APs, we also do not have many of the same problems that other high schools encounter. Issues like rampant substance abuse, high teen pregnancy rates and low graduation rates are not as prevalent at MVHS as compared to other schools.

It is no doubt easier to focus on the negative aspect of things. Being positive is difficult, but we have to actively try to monitor our complaints about MVHS. Remember that to a certain extent, every school is difficult and stressful. And to a certain extent, being stressed is a natural counterpart of being a person who has a full, busy and engaging life. MVHS may not be perfect, but our situation is far better than the thousands of people who struggle to even receive an education.

Just a little effort can go a long way. Start by reminding yourself about how much we have to be thankful for. These thoughts translate to less complaining and more positive speech, which will translate to a more positive attitude. It’s time we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and choose to be more positive. At the end of the day, we do have the power to make MVHS a better place.