Are advanced classes worth the stress?

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Are advanced classes worth the stress?

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Many VMSS students come to our school to experience a better math and science program than other schools in the state. The M in STEM stands for math, which is one of the only advanced classes you can take starting in 6th grade. Some students may choose to advance one or two years ahead in math, knowing that when they reach high school, they’ll have an opportunity to cover more advanced material that suits their needs. However, taking this important step has its negative sides as well. Many students in advanced classes report that they experience the most stress from Math, even if they are especially talented. It can cause anxiety over grades, which impacts even straight A students in a negative way. So, if all these students experience these stressors due to classes like this, why do they do it?

It can cause anxiety over grades, which impacts even straight A students in a negative way. So, if all these students experience these stressors due to classes like this, why do they do it?”

Part of it is being bored in class. Many students wouldn’t be in these classes if they didn’t physically need the challenge to stimulate their brains. For me personally, I would always excel on math tests and would get really bored in class because the material was too easy. If you are excelling in a class, it’s a good sign you should try to look for a more advanced class in that subject. If you’re ready and ‍personally willing to take that step, I would talk to your parents/guardians about it. This seems like such a positive for students strong in a subject, but you need to consider how much of a challenge you can take. There’s such a thing as a limit for how much material you can learn and how much of a challenge you can take. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to just ask yourself If you’re ready for a big leap. Be honest with yourself and others about what you can take and what your abilities are and you won’t regret it. There’s nothing wrong with not being in the highest math class.

Once you are in an advanced class (or any class for that matter), the most important thing is to ask questions and take notes. They help a lot, especially when you aren’t sure how to do something or need to study. The truth is, the higher you get up in the math curriculum, there are some resources, but there aren’t as many you can use as before. Studying can honestly stress out a whole lot of people. As people in these classes, we have an expectation on ourselves to perform well in school, which can lead to a whole lot of unhealthy thoughts when we don’t always succeed and just an overall feeling of unease when it comes to the subject. Not everyone will experience stress due to advanced classes right away, but if you do, I recommend taking a breather when you get worried about the class and reaching out to your math teacher to see if you can get extra help. Usually, they’ll be super willing to help! It’s okay to ask for help. Put your wall of pride down and get the help you need to succeed, no one will judge you!

These classes can be super stressful at times, I’ll admit, but there are actually a whole lot of benefits of being in an advanced class.”

These classes can be super stressful at times, I’ll admit, but there are actually a whole lot of benefits of being in an advanced class. First of all, it helps you develop strong relationships with people in school. I relied on my fellow classmates and they rely on me to help each other out. I’m good friends with a lot of the people in my math class because of what we experienced together, and they all are a really good support system if you need help. Next, it helps with time management. Time management is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT skills you can learn from these classes, probably above the actual math itself. When I came into middle school, I did not know how to manage my time AT ALL. I would always struggle to get everything turned in, and it sometimes is still a struggle, but I would say I’ve definitely improved from where I was in the beginning to now. Lastly, one of the main benefits is that you are able to develop a solid knowledge of that subject. If you advanced in a subject, whether a year or two, you can attest that at least in the beginning, they make sure you are solid on everything grade level material and can always fill any holes in the learning you have. It just helps you get stronger in that subject, in my experience.

So, are these rigorous classes worth it? It’s really up to the person. My rule of thumb is not to push yourself too far, but don’t take an easy class just to excel. Find a happy medium, whatever it may be. Remember that you don’t have to always be perfect and that you CAN learn from your mistakes. Ask questions, take notes, be focused, and you’ll succeed. Advanced Classes can really help you out now and in the future. Be willing to fail and put your needs for learning ahead of your needs for success. Don’t stress yourself out too much, and make sure that you as a person are doing well before your grade. Put yourself out there and challenge yourself, and you won’t regret it.

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