Extra Classes Bring Extra Stress

Taking over seven classes during a school year could have more disadvantages than benefits.

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Izana Nordhaus

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Extra Classes Bring Extra Stress

Junior Julia Wagner experiences stress caused by the nine classes she takes.

Junior Julia Wagner experiences stress caused by the nine classes she takes.

Izana Nordhaus

Junior Julia Wagner experiences stress caused by the nine classes she takes.

Izana Nordhaus

Junior Julia Wagner experiences stress caused by the nine classes she takes.

Some students may feel overwhelmed with a typical eight period schedule that includes seven classes and lunch. However, other students are juggling eight or nine classes by sacrificing their mornings, their lunch, or both. Students may feel pressure from parents, college or themselves to take on seven classes during the school year. They may believe that taking extra classes, specifically advanced placement classes, are necessary to be a “good student.” However, the negatives can outweigh the positives of an additional 50 minutes of learning in a student’s day.

Many students who take extra classes experience additional stress and exhaustion from an increased workload with limited mental breaks. Junior Julia Wagner, who has taken over seven classes both her sophomore and junior years, endures the difficulties of taking more classes.

“I’m definitely regretting taking nine classes,” Wagner said. “It [is] kind of heartbreaking because I [have] to focus on school rather than my social life.”

Junior Shivani Atre has also taken extra classes throughout her high school years. Taking more classes has been the cause of stress for Atre; she also mentioned the heavy workload bleeding into other areas of her life, such as health.

“I have three AP classes this year and the workload from those classes is enough to push back my bedtime,” Atre said.

Despite the negative impacts, some students may argue that there are more advantages to taking additional classes. Although students may strengthen time management or organizational skills by having a busier schedule, counselor Kelly Lindgren believes that there are few benefits that come with extra classes. Lindgren also notices a misconception that taking more classes is beneficial for college.

“I don’t think [taking additional classes] helps prepare you for college because the reality is [that] the schedule in college is so much different than the schedule in high school,” Lindgren said. “[Colleges] want you to do well in the classes that you’re in.”

One alternative to taking an extra class during the school year is to take a class during the summer through an online program. Atre has taken a summer course of Honors US History and has found it to be helpful.

“Rather than taking extra classes, [students] should try to take a summer school class,” Atre said. “It was a lot easier to do [the class] during the summer, rather than doing it during the school year.”

Before biting off more than they can chew, students may be better off if they evaluate the negative impacts of taking additional classes. Considering alternative options may benefit students more in their health and future.