I am only a freshman and I’ve already wanted to skip high school many times. I’ve wanted to skip French class, biology and even gym.

It’s hard for teens around my age to stay focused. Our minds wander to things that we think are fun and or cool. I know I’d rather go to a party, or go hang with my friends at the movies. If I skipped school, I’d end up at home on the couch watching movies or hanging out at a diner with friends.

Aaliyah-SmithAn estimated 8,300 students drop out of high school every day and 3 million drop out of high school annually, according to Education Week.

Around 18 percent of Hispanic students, 10 percent of African-Americans, 5 percent of whites and 2 percent of Asian students also drop out of high school.

And 31 percent of all dropouts happen in the ninth grade.

I understand why.

My father dropped out of high school to take care of his family. Although he is successful today, he had to work twice as hard to get the success he has. He has not finished high school but he is big in music and dealing with pests, branching off of my grandfather’s business, “Dracos Pest Control.”

It’s sad to think that this many kids drop out because they couldn’t handle what high school offers. Maybe they don’t have time, maybe they have to provide for their family by working countless hours.

It’s scary to think about your future as a dropout. Without that degree, you won’t be able to get a good paying job. Maybe you’ll end up homeless or broke.

I’ve seen what pressure in high school does to a person.

The teachers give mountains on mountains of homework – up to four hours a day, including two hours of studying for seven periods. It’s hard to push through, especially when there are after school activities, family obligations or even transportation logistics which mean teens don’t start studying until 7 or 8 at night.

I’ve know there are students who take drugs, who have given up. They feel like they have to get high or drunk to take the pain stress away. It’s like they need help to relax.

When I was a little kid I thought high school would be like “High School Musical” or “Grease,” a place to have freedom.

You think that you’ll be prom queen or king. You would even think that everyone will love you and your name would be in the yearbook one million times.

But it’s not like that.

High school does have some things that could satisfy a teen like sports, clubs and field trips. It’s important to stay on your game and to keep your head up.

The pressure of high school is what drives students to skip, dropout, slack off and misbehave. It’s too much for someone who got used to just doing three assignments for homework in elementary school, to doing six assignments and one project for homework in high school.

Adults don’t seem to realized how much this can affect a student and they don’t make it any easier when they pile on the pressure to attend college and get a good education. But many students won’t make it that far.

I know I have to get through these four years because the rest of my life depends on it. I already know that if it wasn’t for my parents and how they raised me, I wouldn’t be in school. I’d probably just slack off and ditch. But my parents raised me to believe in a better future for myself.

But it’s not going to be handed to me on a silver platter. I have to work for it.