Student athletes have a difficult week when AP testing and CCS Competition collides

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Senior Maya Collins had little time for homework, spending all week going to track practice then studying for her four AP tests.

“I don’t know how I balance sports and academics. It seems like I just do it.” Collins said. “ It does get stressful, but I’ve learned to manage that stress.”

CCS is the Central Coast Section for high school sports. While not all athletes get to participate in CCS, the athletes who do had a larger issue this year than in years past.  

Used as a way to assess students’ learning in an AP class, AP exams take place each year in early to mid-May. Students who pass the subject-specific test may earn college credit.

Due to the schedule of AP testing this year, CCS for swimming and track collided, making after-school activities and time-management difficult for student-athletes.

Other students, such as Varsity swim team captain sophomore Justin Wood, agrees with Collins.

“I work very hard in academics and athletics. It can be very hard to balance both sometimes,” Wood said. “I have barely gotten any sleep this week. I’m exhausted.”

Senior Isaiah Borden faces the same struggle as a track member and AP student.

“It’s a lot of long days and nights, but it pays off. It feels good once it’s over,” Borden said.

Despite this difficulty, some students have strategies to manage everything.

Senior Olivia Valente said she tries to get her work done beforehand.

“Usually I’ll go to all of my teachers a week before I know I have a big track meet and I will ask if there is any work I can get in advance because I know my week will be busy,” Valente said.

According to Borden, good time management is his trick to balancing school and athletics, but if need be, he chooses academics over athletics.

“Sometimes I’ll have to stay after school to ask a teacher for help, but without the grades, I wouldn’t even be able to participate in track, so I just have to set aside what’s more important,” Borden said.

A good mindset can also help, such as with junior Nick Garcia.

“I treat it just like it’s just a normal track meet,” Garcia said. “I try not to overthink it. I just go out there and do my absolute best because when nerves kick, in players won’t perform at their best.”

For some, having CCS and AP tests in the same week was an exciting challenge.

“The challenge during the week was exciting because I like challenges,” Wood said. “However, I’m just excited I can sleep for a few hours this weekend. I’ve been waiting to do that all week.”


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