Clash of the classes

Lindsay Huck and Ali Randazzo

Students come out of classes with stabbing headaches, while other wipe drool off their face just in time for the bell to ring.  Some students’ homework planners end up empty every day, while others run out of space to record their assignments by third hour. Learning style obviously varies from student to student. They either load their schedule with challenging classes, or take one or two honors classes in the subjects they excel at.

Work now, celebrate later–Ali Randazzo

I involve myself in every club, play an instrument and take all honors classes. Do not ask me why I enjoy torturing myself with hours upon hours of homework late at night and into the dawn. Not only do I busy myself because it looks great on college applications, but I thrive off of stress. In other words, I can write a better essay if I only have an hour rather than a few nights to complete it. Yet, after taking a reality check, I realized I would not have time this year to enroll myself in AP World History, the only AP class offered to sophomores. Although I was not able to jump on the challenging opportunity, I suggest all students to stretch themselves by taking honors and AP classes. Before committing to the class, make sure you have the time for the heavy workload.

If you have the time to complete Mr. Becker’s quias and crave extensive knowledge over Archimedes’ principle, Honors Chemistry is the class for you. Signing up for a challenging class comes with the expectation that students want to improve in that specific subject. If students want to succeed in difficult classes, they must put in time and work or else they might crash and burn.

In a Stanford News interview, Denise Pope, co-founder of Challenge Success, explains the benefits of AP courses:

“If you are truly interested in the subject, there’s a good teacher and you’re surrounded by other motivated students, then you’re probably going to have a good experience from taking a more advanced class,” Pope said.

Students may feel like crying or ripping their packets to shreds while completing AP homework, but by the time summer rolls around they will be thankful to already have a college credit, and the experience of a college course.

Don’t drown in high school–Lindsay Huck

I’m a fairly average student; I do well in school and take pride in my good grades, but when it comes to students taking every honors and AP class possible, I’m not on board. As a teenager, you should have time to do other activities besides stressing about school such as clubs, sports, playing an instrument, having a job or hanging out with friends. I recommend students challenge themselves, but not to a point where they’re so busy they have no down time.

Teenagers are prone to being stressed, and a good amount of it comes from constant pestering from parents and teachers to succeed in school. According to USA Today,

59 percent of students said managing all of their schoolwork and activities is somewhat or extremely stressful. Teachers talk about how to manage stress frequently in class, but some students don’t know how to keep their mental health maintained, leading to mental illnesses such as depression, anorexia, OCD and bipolar disorder.

When picking your classes, challenge yourself in subjects you’re passionate about. For example, I love English, so I’m in Sophomore Literature and Composition Honors. Besides that, I only have one other honors class, which is manageable without a study block. What is concerning to me is teenagers who are involved in numerous extracurricular activities and take multiple challenging classes. With everything going on in their lives, they don’t know what it’s like to come home and watch countless episodes of “Orange Is The New Black” without worrying about how many hours of homework they have.

Along with the challenging material and fast-paced environment, honors and AP involve mountains of homework each night. I’ve seen AP students countless times in my classes freaking out because they didn’t have enough time to finish their homework the previous night. If a student cannot finish their homework at home each night, AP probably isn’t the right course for them.

With my flexible schedule, I’m able to live a more normal life during the school year, one that includes hanging out with friends, working and watching countless series on Netflix (which is much better than taking an AP course to me).