by Christina Avina
Varsity student athletes take on many challenges as they try to maintain a balanced life between academics and sports. However, there are many athletes that challenge themselves in school by enrolling in multiple Advanced Placement (AP) or accelerated classes. Between practices and homework, these athletes face many obstacles every day attempting to succeed in their everyday lives. While risking falling behind in classes and not receiving playing time in games, these students aim to prosper in all that they do by working their hardest.
While in season, athletes have away games that they are required to miss a few periods from that school day. As a result, these athletes can potentially fall behind in class work they might be missing. The number one question that many people ask is, “Where do these students find time for sports and school?” These diligent and determined students approach many challenges daily, although they do not give up. For example, Sophomore Kaylie Fukumoto is on the Varsity Girls Golf team, in addition to taking four different AP classes. Her classes include AP Language and Composition, AP Physics, Accelerated AP Calculus BC, and AP Computer Science Principles. Over time she has learned how to manage her time wisely and create a balance. After long practices, Fukumoto sets aside an hour to work on and complete her homework. In the case she does not finish her work, she will do her daily needs, such as eating and showering, first then resume with her work. With goals of getting into a good college, Fukumoto maintains a 4.25 Grade Point Average (GPA). Despite learning how to manage her time, Fukumoto comes across many issues she can not control. “Sometimes I have a lot of homework, or an upcoming test that I need to study for, but I also have practice or a game that day,” said Fukumoto, “so it can be hard to manage my time so that I can complete everything.” In spite of these obstacles she faces, Fukumoto has learned to be an ambitious student and athlete.
At any rate, being an athlete in high school can be rather demanding, but what many student athletes learn is to be a student first and an athlete second. This means no matter how important sports are, athletes must put school first. It is very common to see coaches that push their athletes to perform their very best on and off the fields. Colleges do not only scout high school athletes based on their athletic performance, but for their grades as well. Junior Joshua Swift has played football all his life and has high hopes of attending University Southern California (USC). Swift is motivated to be the very best student athlete because he wants to make his parents proud and is driven to succeed in all that he does. In order to achieve this, he has learned to prioritize school and take advantage of his free time. If he begins to fall behind, Swift will do whatever is necessary to catch up. Swift claims, “When I am am falling behind in school I catch up by making sure I do not waste any time that I have. I take advantage of CAT30 and lunch periods on top of long nights to get my work done.” Swift is enrolled in a total of four AP courses including AP Calculus BC, AP Language and Composition, AP United States History, AP Environmental Science, and maintaining a 4.5 GPA. An unfortunate challenges he faces is not having enough time to spend with friends and family. While constantly being occupied with school and sports, Swift is a very driven and determined student athlete who will continue to progress and aim for his goals.
Throughout every sport season, student athletes enrolled in AP courses, and involved in outside activities, juggle a lot of responsibility between their school and athletic careers. AP courses are considered to be some of the hardest high school courses students are allowed to take. Although some athletes will take easy classes to avoid the commitment, many will challenge themselves and take multiple AP classes.