Worrying about GPA/Class rank

I am currently a senior in the beginning of the first quarter of high school, and I have a GPA of 3.78 and am in top 5% of my class (barely) in a class of about 900+. A lot of my friends are performing at the very top of academic standards in my school, and I suspect better than me, even though I can’t obviously see their transcripts.

Of course I will always try to do better in school, but since most of friends do better than me, it puts more stress and regret on my part, as if I didn’t try hard enough. I want to know to what extent these feelings are justified, and basically how I should move on with this mentality and how I should be able to change it in order to benefit my grades and lifestyle. Your answer could reflect objective details like grades and things, but also emotional advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

I also tagged schools I’m interested in.

You are YOU, not your friends. Build a list of realistic schools based on YOUR GPA and test scores. Right now, it seems very important to get into a prestigious college, but I can assure you that college is at least 90% about what you do with your opportunities and the name really doesn’t matter.

You can only do your best. Whatever your best is, it’s good enough for you. You don’t have to do what your friends are doing. You present the best of yourself in your app and if you have a balanced list, you will go to a college that you will be happy to attend and can afford. Balance is the key. Find colleges that aren’t Vanderbilt and Emory and UM. And is NC State your safety? If you don’t actually like it, find some other choices. If you like it, and it’s a safety, then you are set. If you go there, milk it for all it’s worth.

Many kids who could get into Harvard or the like don’t even think about going down that road. They follow the money, or they need to be near home, or they just don’t want to go to Harvard. And it doesn’t matter at all once you leave high school.

If you want some inspiration, look at this thread. https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/2131364-reject-train-going-full-speed-p1.html
This student had NO choices and took a gap year. He then had amazing, prestigious choices, but he chose to follow both the money and the quickest route to his goal. I seriously doubt he cares one bit what his high school friends are doing. The key to his success was all about applying wisely.

Top 5% is pretty Danged good IMO. 900 kids, that means you are #45-50 or so in the class. Your test scores, difficulty of classes taken, LORs, EVs and essays will determine how your app adds up. Also, depends on what your school’s history Is like in terms of Where the top 5-10% tend to go to college

“You are YOU”

Exactly. You do what makes sense for you. Do not worry about what might or might not make sense for someone else.

Some of my daughter’s most successful friends are not the ones with the highest grades. They are the ones who knew what they wanted to do, had a pragmatic major in mind, went to a university they could afford, and did well there. My older daughter is old enough that many of her friends are two years out of university, so they are either working at a good job with a good career, or working at an okay job and thinking about their career, or off to graduate school. Top grades in high school are pretty much unrelated to how well they are doing now.

“Top 5%” is very good, and is plenty good enough to do well in life.

Try to not get sucked into the college admission frenzied mind set. As many others have posted, college is what you make of it and is only one step towards a fulfilling career.