The Highlighter named best newspaper in new york city of 2016
by Isela Larreinaga, Editor-in-chief, 17'
Imagine going back to school after having a nice, long summer vacation and the wave of anxiety fills you as you look at the classes you have. On top of having to stay in school for so long, you now have to deal with the piles of homework from your honors classes, have to stay longer for College Now classes as well as go to sports games and extra curricular activities. To make matters more stressful, homework is piled on to the students, while trying to balance a healthy lifestyle, this can bring a lot of pressure and be overwhelming at certain times
Hillcrest High School offers a lot of AP classes which are highly recommended that students take. Some AP classes include: AP World History, US History, Language and Composition, Literature, Art, Spanish, French and much more. For those who have not taken an AP class before, having taken two AP classes in my Junior year and two more in my Senior year, AP classes do give a lot of work and expect students to keep up with the fast pacing in time for the AP Exam in May. For example, In AP United States History (aka APUSH) thought by teacher Mr. Ferruso, expects students to read the chapter before coming to class. For every test, which covers two chapter, students are given about 2 weeks to complete the necessary material to be collected on the day of the exam. Some of the material include: Reading Guides (questions about the chapters that are to be read), CD-ROM ( read 2-3 page documents and answer questions), FRQ (like extended response questions) and so much more. Missing just one homework can change your grade from a 95 to a 75 in an instant. The amount of work given in every chapter increases as the year goes on and puts more pressure on the students to finish the work on time for the tests.
Another example, is AP Language and Composition taught by Mrs.Tolins. This class helps students improve their critical thinking skills and helps student gain the ability to look at stories and find the deeper meaning. However, the workload is tremendous. Students are expected to read college level books and read a certain amount of pages each day. Mrs.Tolins gives a quiz on the material that is covered on the chapter. Students are also required to write about 4-5 essays in the school year. This put so much pressure on the students to finish her essay’s on time and making sure its worth of a good grade because the grading is harsh in an AP class. It is not recommended to stay up all night to finish an essay and to finish that reading guide stresses the students out to keep their grades up and not ruin their grade
The pressure on the daily lives of student can bring about extreme amount of stress. Studies show that stress is useful in providing energy to handle emergencies and meet challenges however, constant stress can lead to long term effects.. Our body produces more stress hormones when we do not need them which puts our bodies on overdrive. This can cause high blood pressure, headache, reduced eyesight, stomachaches, and other digestive problems. High levels of cortisol (a steroid hormone) are implicated in AIDS, MS, diabetes, cancer, coronary artery disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s disease. Many behavior problems are the result of stress. Symptoms such as low impulse control, difficulty concentrating and irritating behaviors often match the definition of A.D.H.D.
Even though stress might seem scary because of the long term effects it can have on the body, there are ways to lower it. When it comes to AP classes, there are many strategies on how to pass the class. In classes such as APUSH where you are given so much work at once a helpful tip might be to schedule your work accordingly to the due dates. Have a calendar to help you organize what work can be done today and can be done on another day. Next, it is important not to spend your weekend having fun all the time. Spend some time reading over the chapters and study so you can be prepared and not end up forgetting the materials. Remember in an AP class, you never want to procrastinate and leave your work up till the last minute because you will end up getting a lower grade. Try to get as much sleep as possible. With challenging classes it is important to get sleep so you can stay awake during class and be able to concentrate .