Blood, Stress, and Tears: The Life of an Honor Roll Student

Between a sea of homework, appointments, and extracurricular activities, staying afloat in high school is a huge challenge. However, there seem to be a select few that manage to keep their grades well above average: the honor roll students. While good ethics in their academic lives ensures them admission into university, being at the top of their class does not come without sacrifice.

“It seems like I never have enough time to hang out with friends or go to socials in choir,” sophomore Madison McCarthy said. “I know it’ll be worth it in the end, but staying committed to schoolwork and casting everything else aside is becoming a huge challenge.”

For some students, the effects of making good grades run deeper than the social aspect. Many have complained of physical effects, like stress and fatigue. The pressure to make good grades from family and peers weighs down heavily on many students.

“I’m constantly checking my grades,” student Angela Nguyen said. “If I keep checking and I see that an important grade isn’t in the system yet, it makes me anxious. I get stomach aches and headaches because of all of the stress.”

Even school staff have taken notice of the correlation between good grades and high amounts of stress, which could lead to suicide.

“People look at the students who are in the top-ten percent of their class and see someone who seems invincible,” Counselor Joanne Wallace said during a school assembly/training session. “What they don’t realize is that these are often the most stressed out kids walking through our hallways.”

While some top students are able to balance grades and social life at once and maintain a healthy mental state, others struggle to keep their sanity while maintaining an ‘A’ average in every class. People often believe honor roll students are naturally of greater intelligence and academics come to them more easily, but for many, school is a source of anxiety and difficulty.