Perfect Girls, Best-at-Everything Guys: Managing Pressure, Having Fun
This chapter explores the incompatibility of the opposing values of excellence and fun, and the related tension between freedom and constraint. It focuses on the dual desires and pressures the students have for these traits. While the whole experience of prep school is centered on the ideal of excellence, the students also want to have fun. Similarly, although the students desire freedom, many also desire more constraint in order to make their lives simpler. The way the students negotiate these values demonstrated the gendered paths to relationships and connections. The chapter highlights academic stresses and pressures, the consequences of the pressures (such as use of stimulants, eating disorders and binge drinking), as well as prep school sex and partying.
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