November 21, 2017

Gordon Hayward Injured -

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mrs. Tribuzi, Dance Teacher Extraordinaire -

Monday, October 30, 2017

theSkimm: The Millennial Generation of News -

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Cross Country Runs into the 2017 Season -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Should You Attend the Women’s Marches? -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bearcats Blown Away by Chalk Fest -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The New Tardy Policy Pilot Is Over -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

SMHS Chalk Fest is an Instant Successes -

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chalk Fest is Shaping Up Well This Year -

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Boys Volleyball Season Comes to a Close -

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bearcat Chefs Compete in Nacho Contest -

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bearcat Invitational Track Meet a Huge Success -

Monday, May 8, 2017

Concert Band Prepares for Spring Concert -

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Students: “Beware the Banality of a Busy Life” -

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Roger Federer Proves he is the GOAT -

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Coach John Tells Us About Boys Tennis -

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Olaiha Fonua and His Friend Perform at Green Week -

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Eureka, We Built It! -

Thursday, April 20, 2017

International Week Celebrates Diversity -

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

International Week Shines -

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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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