How to Survive an AP Student's Life

December 13, 2009
By Anonymous

Have you even seen an AP student’s schedule? That pink piece of paper has “AP” written all over it. Maybe you’re one of them. While the AP students throw their books onto their desk getting ready to study, many others update their Facebook status which reads, “No homework! Going out with my friends for little bit! Call/Text.” Although AP students wish they could go out on a Tuesday night, what they really wish for is to know how to make it to the end of the year without going overload in their brain.

Join a club or an activity-
You go to school and maximize your brain power for 7 hours. Your brain is most likely battery-dead by the end of the school day. How can you go home and study again for hours? Give your brain some break. Take your mind off from studying at least for a couple of hours and let it recharge itself. Join a club or a sports team. Instead of dragging your legs and locking yourself in your room after school, have fun and socialize with your friends at a club meeting or practice. After school activities will give you some time to relax and breathe a little before studying. Activities are very effective in refreshing your mind. Your brain will function better if you participate in a club or an activity between studying at school and studying at your home. Sign up for a club or an activity and loosen up your shoulders when you can before going back in the pile of books you have on your desk.

Give yourself some time to breathe during the day-
AP Psychology, AP English, AP Physics, and then followed by classes you are required to take. If you don’t have one period of the day that you look forward to without any stress, then talk to your counselor. You need to have at least one class that you actually want to take. Stress will take over your body unless you can go into a classroom excitedly with a smile on your face. That will be the place to gather your thoughts after almost losing your mind of confusion in AP Physics. Take an elective such as photos and band. Make your mind forget about the hundreds of historic figures you’re required to memorize in AP U.S. History. Let you and your mind cool off during that 50 minutes you have to relax.

Don’t Study, Study, Study-
You’ve probably thought to yourself, “Do the teachers don’t realize that I have 5 other classes in my day? Well…I won’t be getting any sleep tonight!” For days like that, don’t freak out. You probably lock yourself in your room and force yourself to not take a single step out of there unless all of your homework is done. It’s actually psychologically proven that it’s better and more effective for your mind if your study includes breaks. It is said that human brains tend to remember what you first study and the last thing you study for that time period. So the more breaks you take, the more “starts and ends” you have which allows your brain to learn more effectively. Psychologists recommend students to study for 30 minutes then take a 5 minute break and keep on repeating that cycle until your work is done. During the 5 minute break, go into the kitchen and grab something to eat so your brain will be energized again. Make sure you don’t lose track of time during your break. If your break is too long, then you’ll forget what you were just concentrating on and will force you to study all over again. Don’t freak yourself out and skip those important breaks if you see that small hand on your clock pass 2.

Make goals other than getting a 5 on the AP exam-
It’s important to get that 5 on your AP exam in order to receive credit for your dream college. But if that’s your only goal, your mind will suffer from stress for focusing on one thing. Make others goals so your mind won’t have to concentrate on getting that 5 every time you think of school. Your goals don’t have to be life changing. They can be small. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to play that song on your guitar, make that your goal. If you want to be on the varsity team for soccer, then let that be your goal. It’s important to balance yourself out and be able to do a little bit of everything. It will be essential to focus when the time of AP exams arrives, but until then, look forward to achieving those special goals of yours.

Join/Form a study group-
Ever get stuck on a math problem that you just can’t seem to figure out? Maybe a study group will help. Sometimes, one single mind isn’t enough to figure out that one Trigonometry problem, or any problem in any given subject. Your classmates can come to the rescue. Being in a study group can help you come to a better understanding. If you listen to your friends give each other their thoughts, you may be able to figure out the answer. Sometimes when you’re studying alone, it could be difficult to look at the problem from a different angle. Other people’s thoughts and opinions can give you ideas for your own study. A casual, study session can allow you to get in some social time which can be a remedy to your stressed mind.

An AP student’s life can be very stressful. But there are many things you can do to lift those heavy weights off of your shoulders. Don’t force your brain to only concentrate on studying. The stress will catch up to you and will have a negative effect to your health. The key is to keep everything balanced. Studying is a big part to a high school student like you, but in order to be successful, you have to have room to relax and breathe.

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