November 22, 2019

SMHS Mateobotics Gears Up for the Season -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Leap from High School to College Sports -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mateo Comes up Short: 2019 Little Big Game -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Master of Self-Deprecating Humor -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

How Old is “Too Old” for Trick-or-Treating? -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We Need to Get Serious About Shootings -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How Boyan Slat Is Helping Solve The Great Pacific Garbage Patch -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Youtube’s Yankovic turned Chinese TikTok Star: Bart Baker -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#TeamTrees -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Varsity Football -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

CA Bill Pushes School Start Times Back -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Why the Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pros and Cons of Energy Drinks -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Movies to Watch during Halloween -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How Media Affects The Mind -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Matilda Provides Hope -

Monday, October 14, 2019

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.

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