Due to the Corona Virus and the new Comprehensive Distance Learning schedule, all AP classes must be in the 1st and 3rd quarters of the school year, leaving a student’s schedule unbalanced and the 1st and 3rd quarters full of stress and worry.
School can be quite the load sometimes and having to make it work online can be harder and even more overwhelming. The same goes for AP classes; they’re difficult enough during normal school and now with distance learning all AP classes at Mac High are stacked in quarters 1 and 3. This is because we are on a quarter schedule this year, where our classes alternate. Because the AP tests all have to be held in May, the classes must be taken during first and third quarters in order to line up with the testing schedule.
Thankfully, I’m a sophomore and I only have one AP class this year. But there are so many juniors and seniors that I know that are taking 3 or even 4 AP classes and they are all simultaneous. I’ve heard that it’s simply way too much to handle. In talking with friends I learned that 1am homework hauls are not rare and that having so many hard classes is really stressful.
I am most concerned about the break between classes. Going all of quarter 1 on AP overload and not picking up on it again until quarter 3 allows too much space to forget and be confused over content. Come third quarter, things are going to get intense. AP classes will be jam packed with review, along with new material, and I think that that will make it even harder to stay afloat. In future years, if we are still required to attend school online, I believe it would be worth looking into a different way to structure the class schedule.
The biggest complaint I have heard about the stacked classes is that the workload barely allows for free time. Even with good time management I think it’s hard to balance the mandatory work while still finding time to see friends and do things that make you happy. Most teenagers are not willing to put their social lives on hold for school, so always having piles of work to come back to is draining and it’s too easy to fall behind.
Overall, there are definitely some big downsides to having AP classes structured this way for the year. However, this is the way it is and we might as well make the most of it. Lean on your friends in your classes – have study dates, group face-times, or whatever it may be to make the work more fun and to increase understanding. And, always communicate with your teachers; they want to help you and answer your questions. Every once in a while during quarter 2, look back at your notes to refresh your memory of what you have already learned. That means less catch up you will have to do during crunch time. If you know someone in the AP class stress boat, throw them some love. They are likely living on a prayer and trying to get through it.