AP, Honors classes cause students to struggle to find balance


A struggling junior prepares for an upcoming AP exam.

AP and honors classes cause students to struggle to find balance

In the midst of their junior year, Kamehameha students struggle to balance academics, athletics, and extra-curricular activities. It can become extremely difficult to maintain a high GPA, while still participating in sports games and other teams or clubs. With such an increase in daily pressures, anxiety and stress levels skyrocket amongst these students, especially those who work toward the goal of obtaining an Honors Diploma upon graduation. To make matters worse, many students are enrolled in multiple honors or AP classes, which create more problems with their schedules and work.

The majority of AP students this 2015-2016 school year have dual enrollment in courses like AP U.S. History, AP English Language and Composition, AP Physics, and multiple AP Economics classes. Throughout the year, juniors seem to manage the workload of these demanding courses; however, as the end of the year approaches, many have difficulties as AP exams approach. As testament to this chaotic period, students like Junior Vance Farrant suffered as he was forced to take two consecutive AP exams in one day.

The stress and high demands of these selective classes serve most times as a deterrent to prospective AP or honors students. “All of my friends in AP and honors classes complained, and they got no sleep,” said Junior Reece Kilbey. Junior Brooke Pitner also said, “My friends in AP and honors had a hard time this year. If they can’t do it I can’t do it.”

There are some exceptions, however. Junior Mikaela Nishida, who has completed three honors and one AP class this year alone, felt content with her course selections. Nishida, who is also enrolled in a fourth-year language, said, “I got to waive two finals this semester. I’m not really stressed but I feel like most people are.” Such resiliency is commonplace amongst Kamehameha AP and honors students, as many brave the struggles of sleepless nights, countless hours of studying, and grueling exams. These students continually exceed expectations, and they deserve recognition for their sacrifice in the name of academic excellence.