Alas, some kids put that pressure upon themselves. Like yourself, they get the message through society, peers, teachers, etc..telling them there is something wrong if they don’t go to college.
My Piglet, on her own steam, petitioned her school to let her skip 8th grade. She did, 2 weeks into the new semester. She rolled into 9th grade, managed to get caught up, and maintained perfect grades throughout high school. During, she not only took her regular course-load but took additional classes online so she could graduate early. Essentially, she skipped 8th grade and her senior year, graduating as a junior. She’s in college now, 2 years younger than everyone else, which she is very self-conscious about. Sometimes others make fun, but I remind her she is there 2 years ahead of them and they are likely intimidated by that. Regardless, Piglet will sometimes say, “I wish I took my senior year,” noting she should have taken it a little easy on herself. She was so hell-bent about finishing early at the time and her father and I simply supported her decision. We DID utter the occasional, “Perhaps you should dial back a little.” But she feels like she has to be perfect and that takes a toll. We’re not the ones putting that pressure on her. All we can do is try to combat it by telling her it is ok to not run at 100% all the time.