Curious Cardinals Blog

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studentconfidence

Audrey's Thoughts on Toxic Achievement Culture

Meet the culprit crushing your student's curiosity and confidence.


In the 1990s, Yale researcher Suniya Luthar began studying the lives of American teenagers affected by poverty, crime and substance abuse. In search of a control group to compare her findings, she uncovered a shocking truth: affluent suburban teenagers were struggling more with substance abuse and mental health than less privileged peers. 

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From Lost to Found: How a Mentor Changed Avery's Life Forever

The lull of summer boredom confined me to my room as the nerves of my upcoming sophomore year occupied my thoughts. As the COVID restrictions lessened going into the 2021 school year, I could no longer justify my procrastination and lack of motivation; I would be starting the school year in person without the grace period of trying out new things that freshman year offered. There were so many clubs and extracurriculars that I wanted to explore, but I lacked experience in many, and as a shy student, fear of failure and putting myself out there held me back from even trying. One club that I had always been interested in was MUN; as a student passionate about history, global relations, and research, it felt like the perfect intersection for all of my interests. However, my inadequate knowledge of politics and the rules of debate made me anxious to join a club I knew would be filled with outgoing and confident student members. When I expressed this to my sister, who was a Curious Cardinals mentor herself, she recommended that I find a mentor from Curious Cardinals, a program I had completed an online Cosmetic Chemistry class with that past spring. I was intrigued. But I assumed that this would look like finding a tutor who specializes in MUN and I wasn't sure if that's what I really wanted. However, after reading the profiles of these mentors and going through the detailed matching process, those assumptions were quickly dispelled. When looking at the mentor profiles recommended for me, I was shocked at how perfect they appeared as mentor matches for me. They shared qualities and passions with me. They were impressively well-rounded, accomplished, and not too much older in age than me. One of the women, Lydia, was described as someone who loved ancient history, classics, and languages and was studying at Harvard. Lydia sounded less like a tutor and more like an inspiration for whom I would want to be in 10 years.

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