AP worth the work

Kelsey Carroll

Despite hearing four years worth of “senior year’s a blowoff,” here I am, sitting in six AP classes, waiting out the days until graduation. Neverending essays, unceasing FRQs and three books to analyze before October, man, junior year is looking easy in comparison. 

Although the workload is definitely resulting in slowly decreasing amounts of sleep each night, I’m excited to end my high school career with such challenging courses. Because of the unsuredness of where I hope to attend college, most likely out of state, dual-credit wasn’t the plan for me and I stuck with the good ol’ College Board for yet another year. 

It may be a risky move, but taking AP classes could result in me gaining college credits for various math, English, and history courses I might take entering college. It’s a long shot, but this year alone could help me knock out six college credits, plus another six from my other three years of school combined. I’ll have to wait for those two dreadful weeks in May to find out.

The risk and workload are worth it. The school year has just begun, but I’ve learned more in my AP classes than anything I could’ve learned a Pre-AP or dual credit course. With an AP Literature assignment due five weeks down the road and an AP Statistics quiz next Monday, prioritizing my work and my time has become easier and easier to do the longer I’m exposed to high caliber assignments each day. Creating mental (and physical) checklists has become part of my daily routine, keeping me responsible for my own productivity. 

Along with the responsibility of keeping up with assignments comes being responsible for my own knowledge. Outside of class learning has become a key component in my senior year, whether it be figuring out what literary analysis is made of through correcting my own mistakes on each essay, or challenging myself by working through physics concepts I just learned that morning. With great instruction from my teachers and classmates, I’m able to take what I’ve just learned and master it on my own time in order to prepare myself for what’s to come, a skill I know will become useful both in college and whatever comes next.

I’ve made sacrifices when it comes to such a chaotic course load. There’s no off periods to unwind during the day, and most of my nights are spent chipping through pieces of long term projects or cramming for my next test that week. In the moment, the work can get overwhelming, but I know the effort I’m putting in now will benefit me in the future when it comes to staying focused in my dorm room. Besides, I can’t think of another time I’ll get to learn so many things most high school classes don’t cover in a regular agenda. Art history, macroeconomics and government, and the physics behind electricity and magnetism are just a couple of the subjects I can’t imagine leaving high school without taking the chance of being exposed to. 

I know it’ll be a long year, but I know I won’t regret my choices because hey, what is there to lose?