Foreign pressue

How the pressure to make good grades affects a student


Braylen Garren

Sophomore Nashita Kalam expresses the pressure she feels to succeed in school as a daughter of immigrants.

Story by Nashita Kalam and Allyson Smith

You’re up late studying for a quiz you have the next day. You decide that you’ve done enough and you finally go to sleep at 1:30 a.m. 

The next day you take the quiz, feeling confident that you did well. Your whole day is going great until you check your grades. 

Your heart drops. The 100 you expected turned out to be a 60. 

You panic. The first thought that comes to your mind is, “ What are my parents going to say? They’re going to be so disappointed in me.” 

A sickening feeling brews in the pit of your stomach for the rest of the day.

A common belief among many is that the grades you make define who you are. 

And it’s somewhat true. The better you excel in academics, the more likely you’ll get into a good college, have job opportunities, etc., and those achievements will make you who you are. 

Everyone always looks at me from the outside and thinks, “she’s so smart,” but they don’t know about all the things that go through my mind: don’t fail, if you do you’ll never get into college; get good grades, otherwise you’ll disappoint your parents; be involved in everything unless you don’t want colleges to want you. 

From a very young age, I always thought that if I made anything below an A, my whole life would be set for failure. I was raised with the mindset that getting good grades means you’ll have a successful future. Because of this mindset, I always felt the pressure to make good grades so I can get into a prestigious school and have a respectable job.

As the daughter of immigrants, having good grades was always important. Because of the struggle my parents went through to come to America, I wanted to always make good grades, so I wouldn’t disappoint them. I wanted to make their struggle worth it. They always set me to a higher standard and expected me to achieve many things academically. 

The pressure has started to build up on top of each other as time passes. Especially because of the piles of homework, quizzes, and tests I have to take every day. 

I’ve always felt the pressure on me. Every time I open the online grade book, I get anxious. Worrying if any of my grades went down. Any grade below 90 automatically lowers my self-esteem. I deal with the anxiety by using my free time to relax and not think about my grades. 

Having the pressure to get good grades can be a good thing and a bad thing. It can motivate you to do good, but getting a bad grade can destroy your self-esteem. In the future, maybe we’ll all look back and realize that the pressure was worth it, but in the meantime, we should enjoy our teenage years.