Greenwich High junior Rachel Samuel saw Race to Nowhere Tuesday night and said the documentary film about driven teens reflects her life. I would love to slow down, but unless everyone else does it you cant do it, because at the end of the day its a competition, she said.
The kids in the film strive so hard to get into top colleges it often affects their physical and emotional health. Rachel and two other Greenwich students took time out from hectic schedules to see the film at Central Middle School. We wanted to come to be told that we werent crazy, said Rachel Stinebaugh, a junior.
If everyone could just slow down, Samuel said, it would be great and I would be able to get more than four hours of sleep a night, which currently I havent gotten on a school night in a really long time.
Samuel says after going to school for seven hours a day, she has two hours of driving school or her after-school job, then dance practice. By the time she gets home at 9 p.m. she has to do homework until nearly 2 a.m. You get used to it, she shrugged.
Stinebaugh said one of the themes of the film that hit closest to home for her was how stress can affect ones health. Ive been noticing this year my health is deteriorating, like visibly ill, she said. Last fall I had gotten a concussion during field hockey and I still wasnt sleeping because I still had to do my work. Teachers try to be understanding, but theres only so much leeway they can give.
Luckily, Stinebaugh said, her parents are supportive. My dad always tells me, Its not how well you do on the test, its how much effort you put into it, she said.
Another junior, Hannah Balikci, said she hadnt been home since before school that day because of crew practice after school. My schedule is so crazy and still when I go home and I show my mom I got a B-plus on a test she gets on me to get it up to an A, she said. Its non-stop.
You have to make sacrifices to have fun, said Stinebaugh. But you know later on youll pay for it.
Samuel agreed, saying, I skipped dance to come here tonight. But Ill be up late tonight.
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