Back in-person but barely staying afloat

While I was excited to return to in-person learning, I failed to anticipate just how overwhelming it would be. So much so that I had to drop my AP class.

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CREDIT: ISABELLA THOMAS | THE MIRROR

Mental health matters Senior Angela Proca switched out of AP Psychology to prioritize her mental health while trying to readjust to pre-pandemic academic life.

Making my schedule was the easy part, actually doing well in the classes I chose — well that’s another story.

I had gotten so used to the simplicity and informality of online learning that returning to in-person learning proved to be far more challenging than I anticipated. 

Originally, I had signed up for AP Psychology along with two electives and three honors classes seeking to push myself a bit in my last year of high school. 

AP Psychology felt like the right fit at the time, it’s even known for being one of the easiest Advanced Placement classes. For whatever reason, I didn’t consider that taking this course along with the transition into in-person learning would be a difficult task. 

The first few weeks of school I was over the moon to be back in person, but I quickly realized how overwhelming and stressful it would be, especially with AP Psychology. 

Although some believe psychology is an easier AP classes, they can still expect a workload of weekly quizzes and daily homework. (CREDIT: LAUREN-JANELLE | FLICKR)

My days were filled with seemingly endless notetaking, anxiously awaiting a pop quiz and studying for chapter tests every week. Then I’d move on to stressing about how I can pay for my groceries and rent with only $1000 a month for an economics assignment and reading one hundred pages of “East of Eden.”

It was all beginning to be too much and my grades showed for it. I was failing AP Psychology with a 47 percent and my other classes and my participation in extracurricular activities were also impacted.

We went from five-hour school days with hour-long lunches to seven-hour long days with all six periods. There was no transitory period back to in-person learning for students or teachers which definitely took a toll on my mental health.

Living in a pandemic has been draining enough and expecting students to immediately go back to pre-pandemic life is unrealistic. 

We got so comfortable with how lax school had become with the past year of online learning that being back was a shock to our system.

I began to feel overwhelmed, not only was I already failing psychology with a 47 percent but it began to take a toll on my other classes as well. There simply isn’t enough time in one day to do work for my other classes and be active in my extracurriculars. 

After one too many emotional breakdowns I decided I needed to switch out of AP Psychology to prioritize my mental health. 

While I was worried my counselor wouldn’t switch me out since we were five weeks into the semester, she was very understanding.

Dropping out of my AP class was one of the best decisions I’ve made. While all the stress of school has not been resolved, I feel much less burdened and have more time to be active in activities that I enjoy.

I’m not the only one that feels this way. After I had switched out, half of the students in my class did as well. It was weird to see so many students in the same boat that I was but not surprising.