July 17, 2018

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Parkland Shooting -

Friday, March 2, 2018

California Flu Crisis -

Friday, March 2, 2018

‘Rapping’ Up the Grammy Awards -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

¿Cuál Será el Futuro de DACA? -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Marcus Peters traded to the Rams -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 Upcoming Movies -

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Instagram-Worthy Desserts of San Francisco -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Upcoming Season of Baseball -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Black History Month -

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Black Panther Review -

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Destructive Culture of Social Media -

Friday, February 23, 2018

Badminton season launches into action! -

Friday, February 23, 2018

LimeBike Takes Over! -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

All Star Weekend Highlights -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chinese New Year Brought to SMHS -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

San Mateo Volleyball Season Kicks Off -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Van Jones Show:Jay-Z -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Are AP Classes Bad for Students?

ap-classes-graphic

AP classes are difficult. Clearly there is a reason: the classes are supposed to resemble college level classes, at least in theory. More and more students enroll in AP classes each year, with some students taking up to six APs during their senior year. Other students never take an AP class. But some students take APs for the wrong reason.

As a junior, I have spoken with many students over 3 years and I’ve had long conversations specifically about AP classes with older students who are now in college. One common theme from those conversations was the social clout that comes with an AP class. To say you are enrolled in “AP (insert class here)” carries a lot of weight in high school’s social climate. For some reason, the AP system is depicted as this ecosystem for the elite scholars of high school.

In theory, AP classes are supposed to be for students who excel in a subject and want to challenge themselves with a college level class that may get them college credits. A great math student may take five classes, with  only one being an AP calculus course. Now it seems that some students take as many AP classes as they can to fit in with the norm, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll take a non-AP class in a subject they really struggle in.

Teenagers will always compete with each other. But, this increase of competition to take the most AP classes may be a result of the increasing competition amongst students to get into good colleges. College has become a competition about who is the best “trophy child” with the best resume. “Colleges have become very competitive and now students are trying to maximize their pedigree, ‘look how good I am – on paper,’” said Mr. Ortega, teacher.

I am guilty of falling into this wave too. I am currently taking two AP classes this year (US History and English) and I enjoy them. I decided to take AP US History because American history fascinates me. I have always been interested in the beginnings of this country. As for English, I love to write. I knew my writing would improve after nine months of an advanced level English class. These classes are great. I don’t feel overwhelmed by the workload, but I could very well have taken a non-AP US history and English class. I was partially influenced by social norms to take AP classes. Instead, I chose these in particular because the topics are ones that truly interest me. Let it be known that I do not regret taking my two AP classes at all. Shoutout to Ms. Kalinski and Mr. Pirie.

AP classes are very beneficial and are here to stay, but I think that students need to reassess why they take these classes. There are other aspects to life that need to be enjoyed in addition to doing well in school. Students should take time to have fun in between fattening up their resume.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someone