Chicago Tribune

'She can eat during passing period': How college pressures are causing serious anxiety problems in students

For high school students with dreams of reaching top colleges, the pressure to prove they can handle a punishing academic schedule can have devastating effects: Some are hospitalized for academic anxiety and others don't graduate at all after failing an AP class they weren't required to take, a suburban high school guidance counselor says.

Students today are acutely aware of how hard it is to get into the best universities, so they're preparing themselves earlier, many as early as junior high and some even in elementary school. But until they are in over their heads, it can be hard for them to understand how much is too much - causing academic anxiety or extreme stress over their studies - and what their breaking point will be, said Elizabeth Arbir, a guidance counselor at Crystal Lake Central High School in the far northwest Illinois suburb.

"Without a doubt, academic anxiety is

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