APs and Academic Pressure

Just how far can academic pressure from parents go?

Do you wanna make your transcript stand out? Boost your GPA? Looking to prepare for college early? You should try out an AP class. They fulfill all that criteria, but as great as these courses sound, they sometimes come at a cost, a mental cost.

AP classes are basically introductions to college-level courses so they’re meant to be pretty difficult. Whether you pass with flying colors or face-plant into the ground can depend on a lot of different factors, but one of the underlying factors I’ve seen that isn’t talked about enough is academic pressure from parents and guardians.

There’s a lot of pressure from parents now to make their children become the “best of the best” academically and take as many APs as possible; whether it’s to surpass other family members because of competition, pressure to get into a good college, or in general, the stress of those personal issues plus the workload from AP classes clearly don’t mix well. They’re definitely going to end up overwhelmed and ruin their mental health, possibly even develop psychological and validation issues down the line as well.

All this just for parents to have bragging rights over whose child is better than who’s, who’s having a higher education, who’s going to have a higher paying job, and who’s going to have a brighter future. There’s no telling if any of this can be achieved if you’re constantly pressured.

It isn’t healthy. Out-right communicating with your guardians about the amount of stress you’re undergoing is definitely a good first step even if it backfires. You have friends or staff to turn to and there are a lot of resources now about how to relieve academic stress online.  How high we can achieve academically should never be prioritized over our own well-being.