With the recent release of the Honor Court results in regards to GPA many students are interested in how their classmates attained such a high grade point average in comparison to their own. Often, students don’t realize the hardwork and stamina required for this level of educational rigor.
Between AP classes and online courses, students’ GPAs have skyrocketed, but the question remains. Have the students retained the information from the courses, or are they simply taking the classes for their recognition? Not only are students taking weighted classes, but the volume of classes is increased as well, with a maximum of 13 courses: three FLVS classes, three Dual Enrollment courses, and seven classes taken at school.
For example, junior Yeva Thieleman is currently enrolled in 11 courses including AP Music Theory, AP Calculus BC, and ENC 1101 at Hillsborough Community College. Her goal is to graduate early and enroll in the college of her choosing, but the time commitment is serious.
“It’s not as bad as everyone told me it would be, but I don’t have a lot of free time. It’s manageable,” said Thieleman.
Free time is crucial in high school, especially if students want to encourage proper development with needed mental breaks. Without leisure time, students face many health consequences such as: fatigue, stress, anxiety, and stunted growth.
Personal health is not the only thing at risk. It is also making sure that students are actually retaining and implementing the information they have learned in the class. Many take courses such as AP classes and dual enrollment in order to catch the eyes of the universities. This becomes an issue when students take the class for only its title and not its content.
Another issue that students have is the large amounts of homework the often larger and harder homework load associated with the classes.
For instance junior Hannah Concepcion is currently enrolled in seven courses like AP Research and AP Statistics. Her primary complaint about taking such rigorous classes is the homework load that she has.
“I probably have three hours of homework on average, which sucks because I don’t have time to do what actually matters,” said Concepcion.
Enhanced GPAs, and rigorous course loads increases the chances of a student to be accepted into his or her college of their choosing. However, many students hear from their counselors and teachers that colleges are pushing that they want well-rounded students meaning that the student is active in extracurricular activities like clubs, sports, community service, and other school organizations. Not only that, but as students are doing all those things they also want the students to academically challenge themselves while maintaining good grades. For instance, a student enrolled in three AP classes, and who participates in a few after school activities may be more appealing than a student who loads up on Dual Enrollment, Advanced Placement, and online courses for all of the 13 classes they could take.
Overall, enrolling in online courses coupled with AP classes and Dual Enrollment courses is a risky path for students. This is mostly due to the physical and psychological issues that may arise with the course overload.
James Cook // Co-Sports Editor