Not an academically strong student


I have been browsing through the High School Life Forums for a while now. Nothing bad about it, but everyone is taking like 6 AP. And no, I’m not questioning anyone’s ability, but at least in my school, I can tell some people take AP and honors because of peer pressure. My school is quite competitive and people will ask you all the time what classes are you taking next year, what did you get on the test, etc. And to be honest, I know I’m not an academically strong student. It’s saddening that I feel like I need to manage the real world and my dream world. Yes, the college admission game is so unpredictable and hard; only the “best” can survive. Maybe it’s because colleges are seeking for well-rounded classes so AP and honors is the way to go. However, I have so many friends that are depressed and still taking AP and honors because IT IS WHAT EVERYONE IS DOING (this goes with GE too, sadly). FRIENDLY REMINDER: PLEASE VALUE YOUR HEALTH TOO BECAUSE I DIDN’T AND HEALTH ISSUES ARE COMING BACK AT ME. Also, tell me your opinions too because I want to know what other people think. So yeah, if you read thus far thank you for your time : )

I mean it honestly depends, it’s sad to imagine that people are killing themselves (figuratively) and getting depressed because of some AP/honors classes. Honestly, if I were in their shoes I wouldn’t take that many classes if I know that I can’t. My school isn’t really that competitive so I don’t have to worry about that, I just try to take AP classes just to challenge myself because no one else in my school really does that.

Yeah, I totally agree with your statement. Many of my peers are struggling with the load of AP and honors classes and are just taking them for the sake of credits. I personally believe that you should take an AP or honors class if you are interested in the subject, want to challenge yourselves, and acknowledge that you can survive the work in the class. Also, you can take these courses in order to strengthen your academics. Yet, even taking standard classes is good for one. I feel like many high school students these days just focus on taking AP and honors classes to either look “smart” and to get the credits rather than focusing on their ultimate value and experience. Also, I feel like many students downplay standard classes, when in fact they are just as good as advanced classes. Ultimately, I believe that one should prioritize their mental and physical health and not succumb to either academic and peer pressure. If one focuses on their health right now, they might be able to understand their problems and combat them successfully earlier on. I feel like if high school students do not focus on their health right now, it will prove to be difficult for them in college and adulthood.

I don’t think that’s always the case. Yes, being able to get college credit makes each class equal to $3000ish, but most of my kids took the most rigorous courses because they found the students taking those classes were bright and took their education seriously. Every time they had to take a regular class they said they felt bad for the teachers because some students just goofed off. They also felt they were too easy and boring most of the time. There are a ton of colleges for every student, there is absolutely nothing wrong attending a lower raked school, there is a school for everyone, including those who had a C average in regular classes.


It’s really nice to hear someone is taking hard class because you want to challenge yourself! Your surrounding does effect you tbh but no one can control that. The mindset you have is what our school’s teachers and counselors want from us. I’m slowly to understand what I want from myself not because of my peers :slight_smile: Anyways, hope you have an amazing semester!


YESSSSS! I love your mindset!!! I think way too many people are drown to the “brand name” idea. In my school the CP classes are smaller so you can get a lot more help and attention :slight_smile: I guess it’s easier to get your first job from an elite university, but honestly, I have read way too many article saying graduating debt free is more important. Even some of my teachers tell us to graduate debt free. I really wish I can enjoy my experience in high school before covid because I always tell myself “wait for senior year to have fun”, and look at us now :frowning: To everyone, please make them enjoyable, it’s your last 4 years with a lot of your childhood friends. Anyways, hope you have a great rest of your school year!

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I agree with your thoughts! It’s just varies between schools, like NY and ND will have different resources and different students. Students in AP and honors do take their education seriously, however, this goes with everything in life, there are downsides. they are super completive and sometimes, it feel like everyone is ready to tear you down. Even more saddening, from all these hard work, a lot of colleges don’t even take the AP credits. But I guess it’s better safe than sorry. You are probably more experienced in life than I am, so it’s nice to see this in an adult’s point of views : ) Also, I like how you say there is a school for everyone, because UC’s and Ives are definitely not for everyone. Anyways, hope you have a great day!!!

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I completely agree that health issues are very important. Many high schools in the US are full of students who are way too stressed out.

A daughter went to a stress filled suburban US high school that was a lot like what you described. Students were trying to take more and better APs, and participate in more and better ECs. I heard a few cases of students flipping out because they only got a 97 on an exam. 97 is an A+ here, but does not contribute the maximum number of points to your GPA. You need a 98 to get the maximum number of GPA points.

In the middle of all of this my daughter had many friends who were very stressed out about grades and course rigor and ECs. One went on to WUSTL, one to UCLA, another went on to U. Chicago (and complained about the work load when he returned for vacations). Meanwhile, she had one friend who did not really worry about it much. This particular friend had mostly A’s, but also some B’s. She never took a single AP class in her life. She only took a very small number of honors classes. However, here is the most important thing: This particular friend chose a "pretty good " university (perhaps top 200 in the US) that was affordable and had a good program in her intended major. This was a practical major which led directly to a good job in health care.

Guess who got a good job immediately after graduating from university. Of course it was the friend who never took at AP class in her life, did not even consider any “top 50” university, but had a marketable major at a reputable university. This friend happened to also be responsible and very good with people. This means that she does her health care related job well and makes her patients comfortable. She found the right path for her.

You need to find the path that is right for you. Do not try to compete with everyone.

Part of this is that you take hard classes only if you want to, and in subjects that you are good at and/or want to study.


Funny that’s exactly what my kids say about regular classes. Their exact words were… the regular classes are so dumbed down to the basics that there are so much goofing off. It seems fun at first but gets annoying really quick. That was the main reasons my kids chose to take honors or AP classes themselves. They feel like they are surrounded by peers that are more responsible. End of the day, not all kids do it because of pressure, but I understand a lot of kids do feel the pressure, especially being brought on by parents and society.

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Thank you so much for your insight! This boost my confidence in my insecure self. Good majors and connection between people are definitely important. I learned it the hard way in freshmen year, taking AP classes because my friends are doing it. I crashed and burned so hard that all the health issues and mental issues pop up. I finally get to look after myself because of covid (kinda grateful for that but covid killed way too many people : ( ). Again, thank you for your comment and I hope you have a great day!

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“Only the best survive” is actually not true. The real world doesn’t work quite like that. It’s more like a big symphony where everyone plays a role based on their experience and strengths. If you have marketable skills, the job market is actually fairly generous. Employers need to fill roles just as badly as you need a job. When you find a good fit, it’s a win-win.

There’s an old misconception that you have to get into the best and most prestigious college to have a good career. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s much more a function of your major and career path than school choice. In fact, most the competition you see at big name schools is completely artificial. As these schools have become more elitist, the local/regional schools are expanding their capacity and focusing on practical employable majors. Those are the schools you want to go to.

Applying to college doesn’t have to be unpredictable. You just have to NOT worry about what others think. Valuing your health over being hyper-competitive is a good attitude to have.

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Thanks for the insight! I guess it’s just my school that pass around the “only the best survive” mindset :slight_smile: