The Pressure of Good Grades


Ari Watson

Every year students are pressured to make good grades, participate in extracurriculars, and maybe even have a job by parents. Classes are time-consuming (in and out of school hours) and so is everything else we are expected to do. 

The second we take Pre-AP, AP, Dual Credit or OnRamps, we are expected to stay in these more rigorous courses. It seems like there are no second chances or reevaluations; once you are in these courses, you’re in for good.

This causes students to get overwhelmed with the workload, especially if the concepts are hard to grasp. Once students fall behind, it’s hard to catch up which causes a losing battle with their grades all year. 

The pressure to succeed when they aren’t doing well makes the temptation to cheat very powerful. Students get so overwhelmed that the easy way is increasingly tempting as a quick solution.

These quick solutions lead to falling behind academically, which causes students to fall behind in a more permanent way. The second students are missing material is the moment their grades will take permanent damage.

After making these bad grades, students feel even more stressed to make better grades, which causes their performance to suffer. It is a loop of constantly falling behind for various reasons.

This seemingly endless spiral is overwhelming for thousands of students every year. The best solution to this massive problem is to work with students on how to ease some pressure at school. This could be dropping a certain course, going to tutorials, trying different ways of studying or simply slowing down certain extracurriculars.

 The stress of school put on by teachers (while necessary) is enough as it is. Parents don’t need to add to it by hounding their kids daily about grades. 

Approaching the topic of good grades should always be in the best interests of the student. Evaluate: Why have they fallen behind? Parents should always approach the situation to help their students. 

A relationship between kids and their parents regarding grades should be a healthy exchange of information, not browbeating kids to get a higher grade. We are all a team; we need a new game plan.