Mesmerized by Genesis

How the portal is dangerous for your mental health


In the search history of every WHS student, you will find the Genesis Grade Portal. It’s a hub for everything academic—grades, schedules, teacher reports and necessary school forms. Both parents and students have access to this site without restrictions.
While it can help detect missing assignments and track grades, it can severely contribute to students’ declining mental health.

What began as a convenient way to check grades, the portal has become an additional stressor for WHS students. With a large portion of high school students logging on multiple times a day, it has become an addiction and a dangerous habit.

WHS senior Amaechi Ijoma said, “I check Genesis around 10 times a day. I check it so often because I get anxious about tests and quizzes that I’ve recently taken.”

The high expectations at WHS seem to be the catalyst for this addiction as students are conditioned by societal pressure to fixate on every grade they receive. Since the school boasts “A Tradition of Excellence,” students are constantly opening the grade portal no matter how frequently the staff preaches that “mental health matters.”

According to an article from KVC Kansas, academic stress leads to an increased likelihood of developing anxiety or depression. Schools should prioritize our mental health by decreasing our stress and anxiety. This can be done by limiting the ability to check the portal to specific times.
It is not only the students who are obsessed with checking their grades, but their parents as well. Many parents set high academic standards for their kids, creating pressure for students to meet this criteria. Consequently, a parent may check their kids’ grades just as much as the kids do, if not more.

This unhealthy parental obsession with grades can create a toxic home environment. Not only do students have to deal with the stressors of keeping their grades up for college, but also keeping their grades up for their parents.

To avoid this, we recommend having a conversation with your parents about your grades and setting goals together. This will create a healthier environment and limit miscommunication when it comes to reviewing the portal.

A suggestion for students to reduce stress is to limit themselves to checking Genesis one to two times per day. They can choose specific times that work best for them so that they are mentally prepared to check and make plans to address their situation. For example, if a student checks the grade portal in the morning sees that they received a bad grade, they may be upset and discouraged for the rest of the day. This could hinder their academic performance for the entire day, or even week.

Remember, school is all about learning and growing. It is meant to be a healthy environment where grades do not determine your worth. While it is important to work hard, it is equally important to prioritize your mental health — and that can start with limiting the number of times you check your grades.