The battle of the grind: AP students versus student athletes



Some people think student athletes have it hard; others think AP students do. Stress is a big factor in both situations and a big issue in teens today. It can be caused by many things, but in high school students, one of the main causes is managing schoolwork.

Student athletes are expected to balance school five days a week with practices or games each evening. They also need to get enough sleep to stay successful in school.

“During the season, I only get around four hours of sleep at night,” senior varsity soccer player Alydia Childs-Brown said.

Studies show that high school students should be getting around eight to ten hours of sleep at night.

“Sometimes it’s hard to manage cross country and homework, and it becomes stressful and tiring at times,” sophomore varsity cross country runner Elena Alvarado said.

An Advanced Placement (AP) class is a program run by the College Board, the same organization that administers the SAT. The class is designed to give you experience and prepare you for college classes; if you take and pass the AP exam, you can get college credit for the class. Senior Eli Ouoba has taken many AP classes and exams such as US History, World History, Calculus A and B, US Government and English Language. Along with in-class work, AP classes come with lots of homework.

“I usually have around three hours of homework each night,” Ouoba said.

Ouoba is currently taking AP Chemistry, AP English Literature and Composition, and AP Physics.

To prepare for the school year, many students are assigned summer work.

“I do any summer homework if it’s assigned, and if I feel like I need to, I go on Khan Academy to refresh,” Ouoba said.

Some students are trying to balance being a student athlete and an AP student all in one.

“If I have an away game, I get home at about ten o’clock; it’s mainly based on where the game is at,” sophomore JV volleyball player Shai Mckenney said.

When athletes have away games, they have to find time to do their homework, even when they are getting home later. Athletes train to become better at their sport causing not only the mental stress of an AP class but also stress on the body caused by sports.

“Practices are like 2:30-5:30 p.m. and then 8:00-10:00 a.m. on Saturday,” sophomore varsity swimmer Taylor Cline said.

Some athletes are expected to perform even on the weekends, leaving little time to do homework or study for tests.

”Being an AP student and athlete is really difficult, but it’s not impossible,”Mckenney said. “Nobody said it was going to be easy, but if you want to be successful in both areas, you have to work hard for it.”

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