Advanced Placement or Advanced Emotional Distress

Advanced Placement or Advanced Emotional Distress

Maggie Dooley, Staff Writer

Every year, whether to impress friends or parents, build a college resume, or in order to boost their GPA thousands of kids choose to take AP level classes. AP classes can be a great way to do all of this and help prepare students for college level courses, but do they end up doing more harm than good?

With accelerated learning, extra work, and increased pressure, AP classes adds extra stress to students already stressful lives. The pressure to meet deadlines, pass exams, and keep up with life outside of school can seem nearly impossible.

Last year while signing up for classes, I was receiving tons of pressure from my parents, friends, and teachers and counselors to take more AP classes, so I did. I signed up for four AP classes and one honors class for my senior year. I wanted to impress colleges and feel like I was smarter because I could take so many advanced classes. So far, I am faced with hours of homework every night and often feel like I am falling behind in my classes.

High school students are faced with this choice every year, “Should I sign up for the possibility of extra stress and responsibility of

AP classes in order to feel more accomplished?”

College counselor Will Wilson says, “AP classes can add extra stress especially to this who are not adapted to managing their time well.” He mentions that managing your time effectively  and setting up a routine can make a huge difference in students stress management.

Holy Family counselors recommend that sophomores only take a maximum of three AP and honors classes combined, juniors can take up to four, and seniors can take up to five total. This is in place to help ease students into the rigorous courses that Holy family has to offer.

Despite the added steps to help students reduce stress, AP classes are hard and it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough or won’t pass. Wilson states, “Don’t be scared to go in and ask for extra help.” Your teachers are there to help you and only want the best for you and meeting with them can go a long way and give you a better understanding of the information.  He also suggests, “Reaching out for extra help even from a peer can be great.” This offers an additional perspective from others students who have been in the same position as you.

A huge part of this is knowing yourself and you time management skills and your ability to handle more work.

If you ever feel like your struggling and your class load is becoming too much, reach out to a family member, friend, teacher, or counselor. They are all there to help you succeed.