Assumption of failure proves unjust in decision to drop classes

Dana Sim, columnist

There is a girl who takes six AP classes, leads three clubs, participates in two sports and works from 6 to 9 every night. She comes home, skips dinner and does homework for the next five hours. Then she goes to school and repeats the cycle.

There is no sleep, time to spend with friends or family, period of calm or relaxation. Instead, all this person can fret about is the next AP Bio exam or paper due for AP English.

This is not healthy.

At South, there are plenty of students who suffer from taking on too big of a workload. From enrolling in too many honors courses to participating in too many clubs, students can find themselves overburdened with school work.

The most sensible thing to do is to drop some of these classes, side activities or extracurriculars, but sometimes that option is not viable.

Parents oftentimes will push their child to do more, believing the workload just needs getting used to. Other times, it is a matter of wanting to look good for future colleges and scholarships. But if the student is getting four hours of sleep a night and drinking six cups of coffee a day, I advise they reconsider their decisions.

Drop the class or the activity that is taking up all your time. To some, it’s super obvious, but to others, it’s the worse decision of their lives. I’m writing to tell you it’s not, because if you get back two extra hours of sleep from dropping AP Psychology, then you have a higher chance of winning that soccer tournament. You lose some, but you will almost always gain as well.

There will always be another class, another activity or another opportunity. At the present, the current choice might not fit, and that’s okay. But there is also another side to this coin: sticking through it.

During the first week of my AP European History class, I seriously thought I was going to die. I was barely sleeping and doing anything but studying day in, day out. I was ready to drop it. However, I knew that if I were to drop it, I would be plagued with regret. What if I actually could have managed through this class? What if I actually might have liked the class?

Of course, dropping classes may not be the best decision for everyone. If you find yourself plagued by these “what ifs”, then dropping might not be in your best interest. Regret is never a good feeling to have. And I can say from experience that AP Euro only got easier. Over time, I learned how to manage harder classes and work on tighter time schedules. Struggling is only part of the learning process.

If you do drop a class, be confident in your decision. When you look back at your high school career, will you approve of that decision? Or will you live with regret?