AP students balance rigorous course schedules
May 10, 2012
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With AP exams underway, along with with so many other commitments pulling students in every direction, some are left wondering if it’s even possible to balance what they have on their plate.
Taking the maximum number of APs offered during their junior and senior years at Saint Stephen’s, seniors Amy Addison, Elizabeth Djinis, and Adam Vining, along with junior Brian Gentry, have had a stressful year balancing school work, extra curricular-activities and looking at and applying to colleges.
However, these students have been able to pull through and finish the year with a solid finish, ready to take their exams.
Vining decided to take four AP classes in addition to pursuing football in order to show colleges he could balance a rigorous class agenda and a demanding sports schedule during his senior year.
“Academics have always been the most important thing for me, and my decision to take four AP classes was a product of me striving to get into and be prepared for a top college,” he said.
Gentry said he kept in mind the courses he wanted to take senior year and used those choices to map out his junior-year schedule.
“There were three AP courses that I wanted to take, and I kept [them] in mind senior year, dividing the load up evenly, so I took three this year and four next year,” he said.
Vining said he is very aware of how he spends his time so he can obtain the best scores possible while playing football.
“I am very thoughtful of how I allocate my time, and I am prepared to study when I need to and train when I need to,” he said. “I have been balancing sports and school my whole life, so I have a lot of practice.”
The most difficult aspect of balancing multiple AP courses with extra curricular-activities and socializing is prioritizing, Djinis said.
“I don’t really sleep, but I do everything I want to do. It’s all about priorities. I’m not saying my choice is the best choice for everyone, but it’s the best choice for me,” she said.
The workload can affect your social life if you let it, Dijinis said.
“I get everything done, but I skimp on sleep. They say in college you can pick two out of three things: grades, social and sleep. I’d say it’s the same way here,” she said.
Even though it may sound difficult to manage multiple AP classes and extracurricular activities, Addison said the load is definitely doable if the person knows how to balance his or her schedule.
Djinis also said that an internal motivation for learning can greatly aid a person in succeeding when taking three or four AP classes in a year.
“You really have to have the passion,” she said. “I love to learn, and so taking the classes [I took] was the logical decision. They excite me, engage me and make me happy. If you’re only taking [the classes] for motivations outside of your own, don’t take them. It’s not worth it.”