School used to be fun. I’d go to learn; something I used to enjoy. I’d go to play music in band; something being ripped from me. The only thing that’s good about it now is friends. They are the reason I wake up in the mornings. I want to get into UCLA. I know the requirements. I know I’m meeting them, with all A’s and a 4.38 GPA, but my parents don’t think it’s enough. I’m a freshman taking an honors sophomore math class. I have a 91 in said class. My grade is teetering, I’m well aware, and it hurts. It hurts when I get anything below a 90, in any class, but my parents don’t seem to see that when I do worse than I want, it makes me feel worthless. Instead of encouragement to do well, I get angry lectures and biting questions. I don’t want to be at home anymore because of all the arguments, but school feels like a chore. Weekends aren’t even breaks anymore, since I’m forced to study all day, everyday. What I love is being ripped from me. I love science, but my parents can’t see I love music just as much. I was going to do marching band, but I was shut down. I want to do concert band, but my parents are highly against it for no reason. It’s on a Friday, no school, quizzes, or tests the next day, and yet they don’t want me doing it. The only thing I can find solace in is music, but I don’t even have the time to play anymore. I used to love do draw, but now it’s boring, mundane. I have trouble focusing in all my classes, and I’m only doing well because I know all the material already. I’m sleeping all the time, whenever I can, and my parents think it’s because I’m tired, but the truth is, sleeping just takes me away. I don’t have to deal with life if I’m asleep. Yes, I’m always drowsy and my energy has gone down the drain, but I get good sleep at night, usually 8 hours. I feel defeated, like a shell of who I was. I’ve stopped eating, and although I want to, I can’t. I’ve lost five pounds in this last week alone. Everything hurts, and I don’t know how much longer I can take this pressure before I crack.


  • This is something that is extremely difficult to deal with, but just know that you are extremely brave for reaching out for help. Though these situations seem bleak at first, have no doubts that you will see through this.
  • This seems cliché, but your parents do really want the best for you. They just have an interesting way of showing it. If you could, try speaking to them about the pressure. Tell them that school itself doesn’t stress you out, but the fact that you do not have an outlet is what is stressing you out. Tell them exactly how it makes you feel.
  • There are many great resources for music education online, as well as articles about the psychological benefits of music. If you are able to, find a time to sit your parents down and show them real music and what it can do.
  • If you have time and it is not too stressful, find a job. They cannot tell you how to spend your time if you are working, and even further, they cannot tell you how to spend your money. Maybe you can fund your own music lessons.
  • Do not lose yourself in all of this. If you love to do something, do it. Even if it is 20 minutes a day. Keep a small sketchbook with you. Draw in it whenever this feeling starts to creep in. Listen to music whenever possible. Spend time with others, but reserve time for yourself.
  • Find time to spend with your friends, especially in moments that yield opportunities to eat. Go out to eat with your friends or just make sure you are always eating something around someone. Don’t ever eat alone – there is no accountability when you are alone.


  • What are your favorite ways to unwind?
  • What are some ways you can make room in your schedule for these moments of relaxation?
  • What are some of your favorite foods to eat?
  • How can you take control over this situation before it begins to take over you?