Advanced Placement High School students are just as stressed as college students

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By Asha Dawsey
Listen Up, Lansing

“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes; you can steer yourself any direction you choose;” a quote from Dr. Seuss written across the board of Lothar Konietzko’s Advanced Placement class as a little motivation for the young AP students beginning this journey of education.

Konietzko is one of five AP teachers at Everett High School in Lansing, teaching a large variety of students the basic high school courses such as History and English but on the same level as a college freshman.

About 60 percent of U.S. high Konietzko sixth hour class at Everett High Schoolschools and 15,000 high schools worldwide offer Advanced Placement classes, according to a report from the College Foundation of North Carolina. Everett has 124 AP students, according to a school official.

“Getting them to commit to the level of expectation for reading more and expected to be young college students,” said Konietzko.

The next challenge students of Konietzko’s class have will be getting tested on their AP knowledge on May 8, when the high school will be hold its AP exams.

During this time stress levels for the students there are equivalent to finals week for college students, said Everett Guidance Counselor Jennifer West.

According to the CFNC report, after students complete an AP class, for which they earn high school credit, they can take the AP exam. The exams take place every year in May.

Even with exams coming around, AP students still have plenty of work to do before then which is just as stressful.

AP students like Zeinab A. — who, along with other students spoke on the condition their last names not be used — feels the readings are definitely the most difficult part of being an AP student, with a lot of work to it, and very complex words and wording.

“Requires lots of commitment and time. Sometimes you have to make small sacrifices to succeed,” said another AP student, Mariela.

Many of AP students feel the same type of stress each day.

Mona A. said “the difficulties about being an AP student is the work. There is not a day where you don’t have homework or a quiz the next day.”

“The number one difficulty has to be doing the homework while continuing other extra activities like sports. I guess this would lead into time management,” said AP student Daquan.

These are just a few complaints that are expressed by AP students and most of them are heard by West.

“Students get stressed out on themselves. Students that select AP classes are committed but overcommitted,” said West.

Koinetzko teaching Advanced Placement U.S. World HistoryEven the teachers see the time commitment and dedication students have in AP.

“The AP students have to have a real dedication on the subject matter that they’re studying the academic weight so heavily,” said AP teacher Orlando Balcarcel.

 

Other AP students see these AP courses as an advanced stepping stone to college.

“It truly prepares you for college, shows you how serious school needs to be taken,” said AP student Jaelyn.

“The benefits of being an AP student are that we get a head start on preparing for the self-discipline necessary to be a successful college student,” said AP student Kendra.

AP students are given the option to challenge themselves in their education and Everett High School’s policy is to leave an open door of any student interested.

“I appreciate the student who’s not that 4.0 student or an ‘I’m going to a university’ student, who is a little uncertain but they succeed and then feel they can go to college and they can do this,” said West.

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