AP Students and their Mental Health

These days, there is pressure on students.

Students are viewed as the people who will be running the country in the future and the people who will grow up and fix everything that is going on in the world. Students tend to ignore this kind of pressure, however, there are a certain group of students who make this kind of pressure (and other academic pressures) into their daily lives.

Those students are Advanced Placement (AP) students.

AP students are usually students who purposely take two or more AP classes a year. These are usually students who aim for higher GPAs, test scores, class ranks, and higher-level universities (Ivy Leagues, UC’s, etc…). Since AP students take advanced placement classes, they tend to get a lot more homework, which deeply affects the rest of their schedule. AP students deal with an increase in stress and other academic-related mental health issues. Some may even wonder why these particular groups of students are so willing to take these hard classes, especially when they know it is going to be difficult. 

A variety of AP students along with Jeff Bunyea, teaches AP Calculus, question things like sleep, stress, and other issues surrounding AP students mental health. In order to help figure out where the stress can come from, students have to look at how the average AP student spends their time after school, in terms of homework and other after school activities, and how much sleep they get. 

In speaking with other AP students, the average AP student gets around 4-6 hours of sleep. Many of these students get the same amount of sleep when they have sports and other activities outside of school.

AP students most likely spend around 7 hours on homework. The homework load can get so heavy that AP students have to use their free time (before school, nutrition, and lunch) just to have less homework. As mentioned before, AP students take around 2-6 AP classes. However, a lot of these students are taking a community or other community college classes along with their regular AP classes. 

Since these students are taking all of these hard classes and are getting minimum hours of sleep, it is important to ask why students are so entitled to take those AP classes.

Bunyea believes that students decide to take such hard classes because they, “are trying to adhere to a false sense of success,” and that when “students hear that they have to try hard they think that means in school, but it means not just in school.”

In terms of homework, when Bunyea makes his homework, he looks at what a student should be doing as a college student. His homework, along with other teachers, is based on what should be expected for a college class. Although he does keep in mind that AP students have other stuff going on sometimes; Bunyea believes that it should not define how the class is operated.

Many students take a lot of hard classes because they want to succeed in college.

Some students simply like a challenge and they want to achieve more difficult goals in terms of college and GPA.

Other students have always been high achieving students and are doing nothing more than keeping that reputation.

However, most AP students actually have a reason.

It turns out that students who take AP classes come from a background where they are first-generation college students. They have parents that did not get a lot of education or come from challenging backgrounds. Therefore, a lot of AP students take all of those hard classes so they can get into a better school and be better than their parents. 

Even though most AP students take all these classes for their own reason, we cannot forget their mental health issues. AP students have an increased amount of stress, focus, and anxiety. Students are more affected by AP classes when they do not have certain skills.

AP classes are difficult and are not for everyone.

They require more skills in the subject, time management, and plenty of studying. Students who are taking AP classes need to be mentally prepared. It is work. Many students struggle in AP classes because they cannot juggle the demand of these classes with all the other activities they have going on in their lives. 

Overall, the mental state of students in a lot of AP classes has a lot of academic-related health issues. AP students often have reasons for why they want to take these hard classes. The amount of homework AP classes have an impact on students daily schedule. The lack of sleep makes AP students tired and less focused on school. AP students work very hard and they do not get the recognition they deserve. They help carry their entire school with their academic success. It is important to acknowledge the students who work hard to get better grades and get into better colleges. 

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