Behind the mind of an honors student

From all-nighters and mental breakdowns to getting accepted into a dream college, being an honors student comes with its highs and lows.

Senior Areeba Hasan has taken on many challenging courses this year, such as ACP Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Biology 2, AP Chemistry 2, Honors Physics 2 and ACP English; however, taking higher level courses can be hard to juggle with extracurricular activities.

“At the beginning of this year, I was stressed, anxious and just having a hard time juggling everything that was happening,” Hasan said. “I didn’t do any extracurriculars this year; I was going to do academic team, but then I had to drop it. This was the first year I got stressed over school: it was harder classes and a lot more work. But now in second semester, I’ve kind of figured out how much work I need to put in for each class and how I can accomplish my goals.”

Trying to balance school, sports and a social life can be difficult.

“During golf season, we’d have three matches during the week and a Saturday match, then I’d have schoolwork,” junior Maecee Terhune said. “This year, we have a lot of tests, and they’re always falling on the same week. So when we have four or five tests in a week, it’s pretty stressful. Whenever I’m in season, I can never see my friends because it’s hard balancing my social life, sports and school.”

Being so involved can be both overwhelming and rewarding; sophomore Amelia Hoffman is involved in the band program, Service Club and her youth group.

“I have mental breakdowns, not only from school pressures, but also just juggling it all,” Hoffman said. “During marching season, I’m focused on band, school and finding time for my social life. I like being active outside of just school because it makes me feel like I’m not doing the bare minimum, which makes me feel good.”

To stay organized and lessen stress, students often keep a planner and set a daily routine.

“I have a planner where I write down things I need to do,” Hoffman said. “I try to limit myself to a schedule: I get home, eat a snack for 10-15 minutes, then do my homework. I try to take five minute breaks between each assignment. So I’ll tell myself, ‘Do this math paper, then you can have a five minute break. Finish this part of English, then you can have a five minute break.’ It makes it all seem like a lot less work than it actually is, and it makes it less stressful.”

Terhune keeps her future in mind, which motivates her to work hard in school.

“I don’t know where I want to go to college yet, but I know I want to go to college,” Terhune said. “I work hard to have good grades on my transcript so that I will get into good colleges. I’ve always worked hard, but the older I got, the more important I realized it was to work hard and get the good grades.”

Although a student’s grade point average is important, it is also important that they remember it does not define them.

“My GPA doesn’t necessarily represent my efforts, because I know I try as hard as I can,” Hoffman said. “If I get a B, I get a B. I would like my GPA to represent my efforts, but it doesn’t. It basically represents how I perform in school.”

Hasan’s academic goal is to grow and learn more each year.

“As a student, I want to grow,” Hasan said. “I don’t want to be the same student at the end of the year that I was at the beginning of the year. AP classes and honors classes make you grow, and they make you a better student.”

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