Wednesday, January 9, 2013

To AP or Not to AP

 To AP or not to AP, that is the question. Or, at the very least, that is the question that I am facing right now. It is the middle of the year but already, courses are being decided for next year. And now as I approach junior year, that is the question I am asking.

Should I take AP English? AP World History or European History? AP Art History? AP Psychology? How many AP classes can I take without my head exploding and how many can my classes take on? Or, the more relevant question is this: how much farther do I need to bend down so college can sufficiently kick me in the ass? If college tells me to jump, I must ask the obligatory "How high?"

I'm taking AP psychology, by the way and waiting to possibly take some sort of AP Social Studies and/or an AP English next year. I feel obligated to take at least one AP course but, not knowing what to expect, I am going to take the purported easiest class to get some sort of feel for what AP is. Plus, psychology is interesting. But that's of no matter because my agonizing decision is only one detail in an even bigger decision: the decisions of millions just like me.

To AP or not to AP? It seems like the end of the world and of my college career. Our school places so much pressure on us to heavily consider it, to go into it even as he freak out inside. Levels, of course, matter. In elementary school, the pressure was on for us to be in Humanities. In middle school, the pressure was on us to be in Honors. Now, in high school, the pressure is onto us to be in an AP level course.

That's all my teachers have been talking about and it has been stressing me out. This whole thing seems incredibly stupid and irrelevant. Yeah, it will count for college credits, but so? I'm taking a variety of English course in college regardless.

All of this pressure is ridiculous. I feel the pressure really started to cook and it's just stressful to think about. This decision will alter the course of everything forever, apparently. Or, at least, it will affect my  junior year, which is what colleges look at, and college is, apparently, my life.

Ridiculous, right? How am I supposed to have it all figured out right now?

You're not supposed to be too smart but not too stupid, either. In regards of grades, we need to be in the highest levels of each course and get A's or B's within them (but easily and with no passion) and that's how we'll succeed.

Is this what life is really about? Are these courses so important? And, in addition to all of that, why is so much pressure put on them? Why would they even foist that much pressure on us in the first place?

I've never been in AP but they're making it sound so, so difficult with an incredible amount of workload and I can't help but wonder what the point of it all is in the first place. This competition is crazy and needless suffering all around. Like junior year isn't hard enough. They're making it sound like the perfect thing in the world.

My peers act like there is a requirement to  have a skinny body, an impeccable image and oh, now   to take an AP class before graduation! Lovely. All of this ruthless competition and incredible stress is supposed to add up to something. It's so fake too and so ridiculous. It seems that college, like everyone else, is in love with cardboard cutouts.

I'll deal eventually but that's not the point. This only shows the problems with society as a whole with our ambition and our need to save face and all of these insane expectations set for ourselves and others.  And it all is shown in one question too: To AP or not to AP?

1 comment:

  1. The big point of taking an AP course is to take the AP test afterwards, for which you can receive college credit.

    The thing that gets ignored is that once you hit full-time status, you're generally paying a set tuition...NOT a single price for each credit. And sure, it'll save you time...but, for example, I'm in college right now. I need 120 hours to graduate. That equals 15 credits per semester for 8 semesters. If I drop below 12 credits, I lose full-time status. So if I come in with too many credits and decide to take it easy for a semester, I could lose my financial aid. Or else, I end up taking classes I do not want or care about, simply to fill a hole in my schedule. The whole AP course thing is majorly overrated, in terms of being good for college.

    That being said, colleges do tend to like seeing AP courses. More importantly, AP is sometimes fun. I took AP English in my junior year of high school with very little understanding of what it would be. I just knew I loved English and regular English class is boring. I ended up with a 4 on the test, and I had a lot of fun with an excellent teacher. Of those, I feel that the latter is more important. See what former students think of the AP teacher, and make a decision on that. If you were to fail the test at the end of the year, would you consider the class wasted or not? If you would, then don't take it.