Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski is the founder and director of the Washington Health System Teen Outreach. She responds to 6–8 questions from young people daily and has written 'Ask Mary Jo' since 2005.

Q. I read your last week’s column with a lot of feelings. I would never lie to my parents. I think you handled the question well. I’d like to share something though. Some teens are under incredible pressure to excel. Ever since I was a little kid, I knew I better bring home A papers and do well on tests. Now that I’m a senior next year, the stress is intense. I take every AP course open to me. I study until I make myself sick. I love my parents. I know they want the best for me. But I often wonder what it would be like to have parents who were not so very focused on my grades. I’m so afraid of disappointing them. I’m looking forward to college to escape. I wish I could tell them that I will still try hard if they ease up on me.

– 17-year-old

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