Teen Pressures are Too Much

Julianne - Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
Entered on March 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Teen Pressures are Too Much

When I first think of college a few words come to mind: new friends, new experiences and new classes. But still I have to get into college first. Everyone says colleges want someone with a high GPA, leadership and loads of community service. It’s too much. The pressure to take AP and Honors courses is overwhelming, along with being involved in sports, extracurricular activities, finishing homework, studying and still finding time to have a social life.

For me, all the junior year pressures; such as taking two AP’s, an honors and doubling in sciences is stressful. Along with difficult classes, and extensive amounts of homework, I participate in cross-country, gymnastics and track; all three seasons; I also volunteer at my mom’s work, while going to youth group meetings. So, after being awake until one in the morning, in order to accomplish everything, I wake up at six, to get a parking spot at school. Once the long school day is over; during the spring and fall I go directly to cross country and track. In the winter, it’s home for three hours, homework, gymnastics, home then bed.

Weekends are dominated by community service, homework, studying and spending time with friends. But I am concerned about my future, because my grades now are the basis for my life. They in part decide what college I get into, what careers and classes I can pursue, and in effectuality, the job I get once graduated and the money I will earn.

It seems like I shouldn’t be complaining about all this, because I choose to do it. But even at family parties, everyone asks me, “What college do you want to go to? What career are you thinking of?” When, right now, I don’t know, nor do I want to discuss it on my day off. The medical field is appealing; but with my grades, that will be hard. It’s frustrating to study for hours and then failing the test. Some teachers don’t seem to understand everything we have to do, and they pile on more work.

Then my interim brought mainly B’s, a 3.0 GPA; and that’s when I panicked. From my sophomore to junior year my GPA dropped from a 4.0 to a 3.0. Apparently, colleges disfavor that; you are supposed to improve, not get worse every year. However, I do have harder, more challenging classes.

It’s ridiculous that my cousin asks me what my GPA is, and she brags about a 4.14. Well, it isn’t fair to compare. They’re different classes, and she doesn’t have AP’s or honors. If I had the same classes and teachers, I’m sure I’d have a high GPA too. So I say nothing.

I understand that colleges need high qualifications, since so many people try to get in. Still, it’s important to sometimes relax, enjoy life, and not have to come home and do 5 hours of homework when in reality, no more time is left, with everything else we need to do.