Has anyone ever told you that AP Students NEVER sleep?
Well they were right. Read this before making any final decisions on AP classes. You might change your mind.
It is common in this day and age for high school students to get little sleep on a regular basis. That is simply part of the high school experience. What varies is how often a student needs to sacrifice sleep in order to get work done.
I introduce you to the AP student, one who spends more time studying than sleeping. It is common for students to take multiple AP and honors classes to look as good as possible for college. Students take as many as 4 even 5 AP classes at once simply to strengthen their college apps. Something that these students do not tell you is that these classes often ruin their lives. It is common for these students to spend more time studying at home than they spent learning in school; this is simply the way it is. Life becomes almost routine: 18 hours of studying followed by 6 hours of sleep (and that's on a good day). These AP classes truly take a toll on the student and drain him/her of all energy. The week becomes one long, extended cramming session with almost no sleep. This is the life of an AP student.
This sounds pretty bleak right? - It gets better. AP students are more often than not required to work over vacations and take the initiative to perform well. There is ALWAYS work, even when the students think they are done. These classes ruin vacation. An AP student might get a random Wednesday off from school, but all of the teachers take note of this day off, and use it as an excuse to give extra homework so that a student is “better prepared for the AP test.” Thus the student spends his/her entire day off catching up on AP work. So much for a day off from school... All that vacation does is speed up the AP class. The teachers think that because a student does not need to spend the day in class that he will have more time to work, so they adjust their workload to reflect this misconception. Even summer and semester break are corrupted with AP work.
So what about the classes themselves? -Honestly, students usually fall asleep. The classes are interesting in themselves, but AP students usually run on 6 or less hours of sleep every night for the entire school year. This lack of sleep makes it very hard to stay awake in AP History, for example, even though the subject at hand might be interesting. Students lose class time because they are so tired from all of the AP work that they had the previous night. Thus they need to work more diligently and longer after school to make up for the time lost in class because of dozing off. They stay up late finishing AP homework and are tired again the next day, which usually causes them to fall asleep in class once more. The AP student is caught in an endless cycle of sleep deprivation.
What of weekends? -HAHA, weekends do not exist for the AP student. Many students need to go to school during the weekend just so that the student will learn everything by May for the AP Tests. Time not actually spent at school is used working on, you guessed it, AP homework. Just like vacations, AP teachers use weekends as an excuse to pile up more work. Most AP students simply accept the fact that they will have no social life at all due to their work. The ONLY good that comes from the weekend is that students can sleep in a little longer.
Then there is the issue of extra curricular activities. Most AP students realize that extra curriculars are key to college applications and are involved in a few. For a previous post on why Extra Curriculars are so important, please click here. These activities take away from valuable study time, but are necessary (if not just to remain sane). As if AP students were not already stretched thin enough... The point remains that everything takes away from study or sleep time. Pure leisure time is virtually nonexistent. The word "Party" does not even exist in the vocabulary of an AP student, is replaced by words such as "perseverate."
AP students are caught in an endless cycle of work and sleep deprivation. School becomes life; life becomes monotonous. Students escape this cycle once they graduate, but are only met with real college work. Consider this the next time you sign up or tell someone to sign up for an AP class.