AP Students and their Mental Health

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AP Students and their Mental Health

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These days, there is a lot of 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. A lot of 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.

Now AP students are usually considered as 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 a lot of AP classes, they tend to get a lot more homework which deeply affects the rest of their schedule. Due to that, AP students deal with an increase in stress and other academic-related mental health issues. A lot of people 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 Mr. Bunyea, who teaches AP Calculus, question things like sleep, stress, and other issues surrounding AP students mental health. In order to help figure out where a lot of the stress can come from, we 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. 

The average AP student gets around 4-6 hours of sleep. A lot of times students get the same amount of sleep when they have sports and other activities outside of school. AP students get that same amount of sleep just doing homework. On average, AP students 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.

Mr. Bunyea believes that students decide to take such hard classes because they, “are trying to adhere to a false sense of success.” He believes 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 Mr. 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; however, Bunyea believes that it should not define how the class is operated.

A lot of these 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 a lot of students who take a lot of these classes come from a background. Some AP students are first-generation college students. They have parents that did not get a lot of education or come from bad 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 hard classes for a reason, we cannot forget their mental health issues. A lot of 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 a lot more skills in time management and studying. Students who are taking AP classes need to be mentally prepared. There is a lot of work and a lot of kids struggle in AP classes because they cannot juggle those hard 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. However, it is known that AP classes do cause an increase in stress and anxiety levels, especially when it comes to things such as the AP exam. The amount of homework AP classes can take a lot of time from students daily schedule, so they are not able to sleep as long. 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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