My experience is only the experience of someone who has always taken AP/honors classes so I really bring the stress and pressure onto myself, and the small community of AP/Honors kids (and I mean small I'm in the same classes with the same people most of the time) are very competitive among each other. Because of this, most of us take on A LOT of AP classes which turns us into snappy, coffee addicted freaks who are our own worst critics. Personally, I have no interest or knack for anything STEM related so I had to tap out of those advanced classes. I'm glad I did because my sophomore year I took honors algebra 2 and honors chemistry I had a 3.5 GPA WEIGHTED and I ended my junior year with a weighted 4.0 GPA taking regular pre calculus (that was really challenging for me) and regular physics (which was a joke of a "class" that I was not supposed to be apart of in the first place). While taking many advanced classes is a choice, there is a peer pressure to be in many classes because seeming less intelligent than your peers is really hard to come to terms with, and you become disillusioned putting yourself in a class apart from the advanced kids you've had every class with since middle school. With that peer pressure, the counselors don't help by insisting you will not get accepted into any decent college if you don't take that certain AP class you're on the fence about. Because of these pressures to take many AP classes, the work load is overwhelming compared to a student who takes regular classes, but again, it is a (highly stigmatized) choice. Thankfully, the teachers have been catching on and tend to do more class activities that require mental stimulation and participation instead of boring book work. These teachers do everything they can to make their assignments work for those AP students who are in other multiple AP classes and many school activities (basically every AP student) and are open to extensions and extra help if needed.