Counterpoint: Student Workload: Excessive or Manageable?

Pavle Ristic, Editor-in-Chief

   High school students are under constant pressure. Their parents, peers, and teachers all have expectations placed on them, which they are expected to live up to. Everyone has numerous responsibilities, both in and out of school. As everyone around them takes up an increasing number of activities, it is difficult to know when one has reached their limit. Students have to be responsible when choosing their classes and make choices which are appropriate for their level and schedule. If you aren’t able to handle a heavy workload, don’t give yourself one.

   Class choice dictates school workload. If a student’s workload is too much and they see that their grades are slipping, it most likely means that they did not account for all of the responsibilities which they have signed themselves up for. There is a reason why a certain grade point average and a parent signature are required to take higher level classes. Students may be facing pressure to take higher level classes from peers or simply overestimate their schedule and academic capacity. Either way, this can result in a situation where students are overwhelmed with work. Making an honest analysis of your schedule and the time frame in which you will have to work is critical to choosing a schedule which is right for you.

   Outside pressures should not have an impact on the choices an individual makes which will impact their own life. When people compare themselves to their peers, they start to miss out on the bigger picture. They lose their sense of scale, and they get caught up in the competition they have fabricated in their own mind. Junior Marty Todorov has many activities he has committed to outside of school in addition to numerous advanced classes he is taking: “I really have to be efficient with my time. I chose classes I knew I could accommodate but it isn’t easy.” Just because you see someone else taking numerous AP classes does not mean that it is something that you are able to accommodate for yourself. Everyone leads different lives and needs to be conscious of that when choosing their classes.

   Universities have been getting increasingly competitive and students have been struggling to keep up. In an effort to keep up with the rising standards, students are pushed into participating in as many activities as possible. Many students see nothing more important than filling up their resume with as many items as possible. Taking AP classes in addition to all of these activities makes it nearly impossible to live life with a normal schedule. The immense pressure from this accumulation of activities and responsibilities takes away from one’s ability to perform in each of them. Students spread themselves out too thin and end up with undesirable results in each of their endeavors. 

   Youth is an incredibly important time in everyone’s lives. It shapes what a person will end up becoming. The decisions which are made now will make a difference in the future, but maybe not in the way which you expect. When choosing classes and determining workload, every student must be sure to account for everything which consumes their time (family, sleep, friends, sports, eating, and relaxation, to name a few). One extra AP class likely isn’t the difference between your dream school and staying at home, but it is the difference between having fun or miserable high school years. If you make good choices for yourself, as the cliche goes, eventually you’ll end up where you need to be.