Balancing athletics and academics

AP student and athlete, Luke Weiss, studying in his AP World History class.

AP student and athlete, Luke Weiss, studying in his AP World History class.

Balancing academics and social life is hard. With homework, practice, and social obligations, sometimes school work goes undone or is poorly done. However, some high school students double that effort. They balance AP classes and sports every day.

AP classes are different from their regents counterparts. In AP classes, students are challenged to look more deeply into history and read and analyze more difficult articles. These classes require hours at home to finish classwork assignments begun in class.

After-school sports also take up a great deal of time after hours. With practices starting around 3:15 pm and ending around 5:00 pm, there isn’t much time left in the day. “[I] usually [stay up] one or two hours depending on the amount of homework,” Luke Weiss, a sophomore basketball player and AP World History student said.

In AP World History, there is homework almost every night. AP Seminar, an English AP class, takes up time after school due to a project that takes weeks to finish. But should the homework load be lessened for athletes?

“The amount of homework should remain the same; special treatment should not be given to athletes simply because they stay later,” Mr. Michael Lisa, AP Social Studies teacher and girls track coach said. “It is their choice to participate in athletics, and they need to be mature enough to take on both academics and athletics as a result.”

But some athletes have a different perspective. Luke feels that homework should be lowered “because there are times when the work is overwhelming.” This can stress out the athlete and sometimes cause a bad performance during a game or practice. “On home game days we can be at school [until] nine,” he said.

AP homework takes up a good deal of time for non athletes as well. “I don’t really get much free time after school and homework,” Kayla Lew, a sophomore and AP student said. “I usually stay after school just to hang out so I get home around 3:30 and start homework around 5ish and end up finishing somewhere between 10:00 and midnight.”  

“I have never liked social studies in general, so I don’t know if it’s the AP class itself or the actual history. But they’re both ok and will prepare me for the future,” Emily Harris, an AP World History and Pre-AP English student said.

AP classes are extremely beneficial for all students. However, the work is hard and time consuming, especially for those who play sports. “I enjoy my AP class and I believe it’s beneficial,” Luke said, and despite the hard work involved, recommends taking it to others “because this class is very enjoyable and educational.”

The stress of sports and AP courses may be overwhelming but in the long run, it’s worth the effort. Students can enjoy playing sports after school and they can prepare themselves for the road ahead – college.

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