Taking Four or More APs May Ruin Your Mental Health

Is The Stress From Taking Another AP Worth It Or Is It Just A Shortcut To Depression?

Taking four or more APs is a mess; they'll only give you stress.

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By Meghna Kamath and Madhurya Gajula

High school is not an easy time. Not only do you have to do well in all your classes, you're also expected to play a sport or an instrument, participate in multiple clubs, maintain your social life and get a good night's sleep.

If you're like me and you have a dream school that's really competitive, you've either taken or are going to take Advanced Placement courses in high school. Advanced Placement courses help you build your subject knowledge in a specific field, boost your GPA and look great on your college application. However, these courses are also known for their level of rigor and the incessant demands they make to students who want to take them.

As someone completely new to the American high school system, I did not quite understand the level of hard work and commitment an AP course required. I decided to take 4 APs my junior year (Chemistry, Biology, Language Composition and World History), and many of my friends were doing the same. What I didn't realize was what these four subjects would mean for my mental health in the coming months.

In simple words, the workload was too much. I spent the entirety of my weekday afternoon slogging to complete homework, studying for tests and working on projects. Many assignments were due at midnight, meaning I didn't even have the liberty to take a nap after I came home from school. I pulled many all nighters, and staying up till 1 or 2 AM was an everyday occurrence. My parents tried to help me, but there was nothing they could really do; the work was mine. On weekdays, I barely got a breather, and on weekends, I spent most of the day either stressing out about homework or working on something that was due soon.

I didn't have the leisure to put a lot of effort and time into each project I was given, and I rather had to do the job as quickly as possible so I could move on to the next task. Many days, I felt like a well-oiled machine, doing homework assignment after assignment until I collapsed at night in exhaustion.

Nearly every afternoon, I went through extreme stress, worrying about how late I'd have to stay up at night just to get my work done. Sometimes, I'd cry out of anxiety because even after putting in hours of work, I still would not receive a good grade on an assignment. The AP Courses were slowly taking the joy out of my life and leaving me no time to socialize with friends or family, take up a hobby at school or even participate in activities in my neighborhood.

Every time I'd watch Netflix, I'd feel a pang of guilt because I wasn't being productive, and slowly, this anxiety started to consume me. Any time I spent having fun I would regret because I knew it would lead to me staying up at night doing homework. I couldn't let myself do anything enjoyable, and this was turning my life into something really damp.

It turns out, I wasn't alone. Alarmingly high levels of stress are associated with AP classes, something that can permanently affect students for the rest of their lives. The added sleep deprivation can even contribute to depression and more stress, which furthers the problem.

Taking an AP class is fun if you're really interested in the subject and have at least an hour a day you can spare for the workload. However, I do think that taking a lot of AP courses can be especially detrimental to one's mental health status, which can lead to burning out early and severe health problems in the long run.

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Moving Out Of Your College Dorm As Told By 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'

"The English language can not fully capture the depth and complexity of my thoughts, so I'm incorporating emojis into my speech to better express myself. Winky face." - Gina Linetti

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We all remember that first day, how excited we were to have all our belongings nicely packed and organized in our car, and all the adventures coming of moving to a new place and starting our lives over again in the fall. That hard work and dedication to moving in everything and unpacking in a time-saving, organized and nicely planned manner. Everything had a specific place not only in the trunk of your car but in your new home that was waiting for you only a few hours away.

Over the next few months, you'd meet new friends or reconnect with old ones (for those just returning from summer for another year), make new memories, do more crazy things, study a little harder (hopefully) and maybe just make it back out with that 4.0. But sooner or later the end of the semester comes, and if you're only a little freshman or if you just don't yet have that permanent home in your college town there comes a day that hits you just like that math final did as you were running on only a few hours of sleep and maybe a few caffeinated drinks--move out day.

Ok, I will be honest, maybe I am exaggerating a little. But the truth is that move out day hits you unprepared no matter how much you've been counting down the days till summer, and gets you sentimental all while running what feels like a half marathon in training for 'America's Top Ninja Warrior'.

Here are just a few perfectly captured moments from the one and only 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' that perfectly sum up what packing up those eight months or two semesters worth of college feels like.


1. Packing up all the belongings you have accumulated over the past semester

As you're packing, realizing that you have ten times more belongings than what you came to college with, and wondering how you ended up in this situation. There aren't enough bags, boxes, drawers to fit all your belongings and you are standing there among the destruction of your room, somehow making it more of a mess trying to pack it all away than what it was before. Just don't think about all the money spent accumulating those not-as-necessary items and everything will be fine right?

2. It takes forever

It's been almost two hours and you still only have half your room packed. How much longer will it take? I need a nap.

3. Calling your backup squad for reinforcements

Call your mom, call your siblings, call your friends. All hands on deck. Did you really think you would fit it all in that one car?

4. Sometimes it requires a bit of bribery

Sometimes you have to bribe your friends or even some college boys with food to help you move that one big piece of furniture that would crush you alone.

5. Packing your car up calls for trial and error

Packing your car up takes patience, time, and skill. You arrange things and then rearrange things like a game of Tetris to try to make it all fit. Back seats down? Check. Front seats moved all the way forward? Check. And in the end...will it all fit?

6. Eventually you just give up and start cramming

Eventually you run out of patience and just start shoving things chaotically into that one last duffel bag. That lamp looks like it can fit in there with my shoes. As long as you get it all in there it's all going to the same place.

7. No matter what the temperature is, you're sweating

I mean carrying those bags and boxes is a work out, especially if you don't have an elevator in your dorm. Whether its practically snowing outside or there's a tornado on the approach, it doesn't matter. You're sweating regardless. Is this what exercise feels like? Either way way you're getting your steps in today, honey. Maybe you should consider getting into shape for move out day next year, it's never too late to start.

8. You gain arm strength in lifting those boxes or bags

Being weak isn't an option when moving out. You pack-mule your stuff outta there in as few trips as possible. My noodle arms definitely gained some muscle from moving up and down those three flights of stairs.

9. When you finally get everything to fit in your car

Hopefully you can still see out of your car for safe driving purposes by now. Whatever the case, that car is so jammed packed you're worried your trunk isn't going to close.

10. Looking at the time when you're finished and seeing it took all day

11. That feeling you get when you finally finish 

You did that, and now it's summer and you are free. Finals, done. Packed, done. All that stands between you and summer now is that drive home.

12. Going back to your now empty room to lock up

You feel accomplished from finishing and you're ready to go, but first you have to double check your now empty room before locking up and walking away. Those memories you made in that tiny room will never be forgotten. It's a short and sweet but sentimental moment looking at where all your belongings used to be, and how you thought this day would never come but here it is. Does it have to end already? You don't want to stay but you don't want to go either.

13. Saying goodbye to your friends for the summer

You made it through an incredible eight months with these people and now you have to part ways for the summer. Some of them you know for sure you'll see again next semester, but some of them you can only hope. They are your best friends and you can't stand the idea of being away from them for so long. Feeling: sentimental. You are so thankful for all the memories you've made and can't wait for so many more. You feel so truly blessed they came into your life, and they are your family away from home.

14. You can't wait to do it all again next semester

School is hard and finals are rough, but you'd never trade that experience for the world. All those memories with your friends and late nights that make college truly great are so worth it. Summer is great and feels so nice, and you need a break, but you also are already thinking about all those crazy adventures in life that are waiting just around the corner of the next semester. Let's go, bring it on!

And finally...


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Remaining NBA Playoffs Matchup Predictions

NBA playoff predictions

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With the NBA Season coming to a close after 82 games and multiple playoff games, I wanted to predict the remaining NBA series's and who would win. Let's start!

Eastern Conference Semi-Finals: Sixers in 6 vs Raptors

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This one's pretty simple, The Sixers have more firepower, they have better chemistry, and they have a better coach. The Raptors are still adjusting to the Kawhi era and might take them a couple years for their chemistry to improve. The Sixers should win this series in six, but only because Kawhi is good enough to win two games by himself.

Eastern Conference Semi-Finals: Bucks in 5 vs Celtic

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The Greak Freek is so good he can single-handedly beat this Celtics roster with Kyrie and Tatum. The Celtics have been suffering since late in the season and Giannis is here to expose that. Mike Budenholzer has made the Bucks into a complete team and they should easily dismantle last year's Eastern Conference Finals Losers.

Western Conference Semi-Finals: Blazers in 7 vs Nuggets

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It's always Dame Time in Portland. Dame is leading his team fast and furious in the playoffs. He is averaging over 30 points a game and is carrying the Blazers. Him and CJ are a formidable duo. While Denver has great players, I believe in a 7 game series the Blazers will outplay them.

Western Conference Semi-Finals: Warriors in 6

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The Warriors are the greatest team in the NBA this season. I'm not tired of how good they are because of Steph Curry. Often it seems like they don't try when they're playing, but I am sure that when it counts they will be able to oust the Rockets.

Eastern Conference Finals: Bucks vs Sixers: Sixers in 7

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The Bucks vs the Sixers; two young teams battling it out to be the East's best. Who will win? Not going to lie if this happens it will be the best series in the playoffs. This series will definitely go to 7 games and the matter of fact is the winner of this may be lucky to keep on moving. Based on talent I took the Sixers, but with Giannis anything can happen so watch out!

Western Conference Finals: Warriors vs Trail Blazers: Warriors in 5

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To make it simple, the Warriors talent makes the Blazers look like a high school JV team. Dame might be like the outlier and help the Blazers win one game, but otherwise the Warriors will make it look easy and go past this series easily.

NBA Finals: Warriors vs Sixers: Warriors in 4

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The Warriors will finally find their momentum by the time the Finals rolls around and should easily sweep the Sixers. The Sixers lack experience in the Finals and even the playoffs that much to be honest and it will show. The Warriors will be too much for them and will dismantle the Sixers in 4 games.

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