As this school years fades to an end and summer begins to kick in, kids are filled with excitement and relief that all those homework assignments are over with. Summer is a time to give your mind some relaxation, a vacation of its own, but this is not necessarily possible for AP kids.
Many high school students across the country, including myself, are taking advanced placement classes to boost our GPA and possibly receive college credit, if you pass the huge test at the end of the year. AP teachers put so much stress on passing the test that they begin your preparations even before the school year itself starts.
For my upcoming junior year, I have selected three AP courses and an accelerated math class, which is already a lot of work to begin with. Three out of my five classes have already given me a summer assignment to complete before school is back in session. When school is in, I already have enough anxiety trying to balance and understand my work, but now that has to be carried into summer.
Anxiety seems to be a common issue among kids my age nowadays. In fact, a survey conducted by MTV stated that 85% of students said they experienced some kind of stress from school. Students are sacrificing their mental health for that extra GPA boost, which could lead to better college selection.
The real question here is, are AP classes worth all this added stress on students? Is it really okay to make students feel forced to choose these classes because of hopes of getting into a dream school? High school makes you feel like you have to take those classes if you want to become successful, but how is shoving a bunch of information into our heads for one test going to prove our worth? Once summer hits, all that information is going to go out the other ear, and into the trash. Kids don’t take these classes for the fun of it; it’s simply to pass an extremely hard test. A test that seems simple to those who have been teaching it for years upon years.
On top of that, it’s hard to compete with these students if you are in fact just as smart, but more slow-minded and have trouble dealing with the excessive workload. Failure in AP classes brings down a student’s confidence in their abilities and intelligence.
So, parents and guardians, before you get frustrated at your kid for those late nights and random mental breakdowns in the middle of completing homework, show a little sympathy. We students have to go through a lot to get that glamorous report card you love to show off to the rest of the family.