Ann Dolin: In high schools across America, teens report being more stressed out than ever. A recent San Diego State University study found that stress is at an all time high. Part of the reason is that many are overloading on college-level AP classes while in high school in order to improve their chances of college acceptance. Add up the extra hours of homework, throw in a sport, club or any other activity on top of it, and you have one sleep deprived stressed out student.
The truth is that colleges don't look to see if a student is a collector of advance coursework. They would rather see that a student has achieved As in couple of AP classes, then mediocre grades in many courses. The best advice for any student is to take as challenging a course load as possible while enjoying the high school years. It's not necessary to take AP classes just to take them. Students should choose classes that interest them. Encourage your child to find a passion in life and then to run with it. By getting involved with a cause or organization, students show leadership and dedication. This type of passion and creativity is something colleges look for in potential students.
Remember, the true challenge can be found in other places than an AP classroom and stress doesn't always means success.