AP Classes: Worth the Sacrifice

September 14, 2011
In response to “AP Classes: Worth It?” I must say that they are. I myself am a sophomore enrolled in three AP classes, going to one of the most highly regarded public high schools in the country. It’s true, my friends and I are sleep-deprived. We wake up at 5:00 am every morning to get to zero period class. We study for what seems like a never ending stream of tests, and work in the late hours of the morning finishing projects. It is really worth it?

Most students would argue that it’s not. They would rather participate in sports, and extracurricular activities, or would just rather not have all that stress and have downtime afterschool. We’re teenagers, I get it, and I understand the need to hang out with friends. But for the few of us who dream of going to a prestigious university, we’re willing to make the sacrifice.

We live up to the true meaning of a student, someone who is willing to learn and dedicate their time to school. My best friends and I don’t hang out on the weekends as often as we would like. The majority of our weekends are spent trying to keep up with the staggering amount of work that is continually added to. Why would we torment ourselves willingly like this? Because taking an AP class shouldn’t just be for the college credit. If you can save yourself some classes at college, that’s a wonderful reward for all of your hard work. But that’s not why you should take it.

You may not be granted the credit for your AP class. Then what, you say, was the point of taking it? To learn. While not everyone’s teachers are like this, mine make the effort to teach the subject, not the test. The environment is student-friendly, and it’s okay if you are a nerd who strives for straight A’s. Teaching to the test, is in my eyes, destroying the whole point of going to school. If all you’re doing is memorizing answers to a test, did you really learn anything? So when I decided to take all of these classes, it’s because I wouldn’t be happy in a lower class. I enjoy mentally challenging myself with interesting courses, which is exactly what an AP class offers me. I didn’t take them for the credit; I took them for the pure enjoyment of intellectually advancing myself.

To say that we are not capable of learning a college level class in the time given us, is insulting. We are underestimated in our conviction that we will succeed in everything we attempt, and underestimated in the level of our intelligence. Who are you to tell us that we cannot achieve our goals because they are too high and unrealistic? How can we realize our full potential is if we are not allowed to try? We are striving for our “virtu”, in the words of Italian Humanists. How can America pull ahead of other countries in education, if America does not believe in her students? So challenge us we say, challenge us with the hardest classes you dare give us, be it AP, IB, etc., and we will proudly seize the day.

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This article has 53 comments. Post your own now!

YozoraK said...
May 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm
My school offers AP Biology, AP Chemistry, APUSH, AP Music Theory, and AP Statistics.  I wished they offered some of the classes I saw on the AP Exam Test Schedule (I SO want to take AP Psychology and AP Japanese Language/Culture).  However, my school is really small, so I don't get the opportunity to take some of these classes.  However, my school offers CC classes, or Concurrent College classes, which allow us to take classes that one would take in college and recieve t... (more »)
savetheplanet replied...
May 19, 2013 at 11:41 am
Yeah my school offers AP Psychology and it looks really interesting but for some strange reason they reserve that class for people who aren't taking a bunch of AP classes which rules me out.  DX  Our school doesn't have CC classes so my only options are AP and IB classes.  Good luck with your schedule!  I'll be a senior next year too.
YozoraK said...
May 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm
I'm just finishing my junior year in a school that offers AP ad CC (Con-Current College) classes.  Because I transferred in the middle of the school year last year, I wasn't able to take any AP classes, yet this year I took AP US History.  At first I was excited to take this class, yet it as it turned out, my teacher taught us how to take the test, but not any of the material.  I'm not sending my AP exam scores to any college because I am not confident in my ability to... (more »)
ycd981110 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm
I agree with you. I'm going to be a freshman next year and I'm planning on taking some Honor and AP classes to learn more in school.
Aderes47 said...
Feb. 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm

So proud of you! :)

How are they all going, by the way?

I'm just a freshie- so no AP classes now, all honors though. 

My junior year, APUSH! And senior year, AP psychology, AP Calculus, Ap Literature and AP Biology. 

I also go to one of the best public high schools in the country. :) 

I feel the same way, I just want to be challenged! 

savetheplanet replied...
Feb. 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm
Well like the article said I already have 3 AP classes right now.  AP Euro, AP English Language and Composition, and AP Comupter Science and IB French 3.  I'm going into the full IB program next year so classes that aren's AP will be IB. I'm taking AP Physics B, APUSH, AP French 4, IB English SL, IB Computer Science SL, Precalc H, and Philosophy IB.  So junior year is going to be just killer.  Hopefully senior year won't be quite so hard but I doubt it.  Doing the full I... (more »)
savetheplanet replied...
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Is APUSH the only AP class that you're taking junior year?  My high school is a magnet school and a math and science oriented school.  Their English and History classes are still superb though.  I did NOT know how to properly write analytical meaningful essays until high school.
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm
So the way my school works is that you have four classes each semester. Each class is 1 hour and 20 minutes long. We have CP and honors classes. CP's just regular, honors are much better. Most classes freshman year are semester long(Sept-Jan or Jan-June) unless you take CP English and/ or Math, which are year-long. I take all honors, which are only semester long classes. The semester allows you to double up on a class because you have eight blocks. That is, if you take all honors. After you tak... (more »)
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm
How can I double up twice? Next year, I don't have to take gym because I run track. yet another reason why I am not on teen ink that often. Sorry, that was a lot. My school is very complicated with the honors and the block scheduling. I go to a very good school, it has one of the best arts programs in the state or even the country. I am a freshman and I can tell you honestly this year I haven't had one bad teacher. My school has a lot of resources, I feel very fortunate. The thing is, my sc... (more »)
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm
I didn't know how to write an essay either, it was horrible. In middle school, you just discuss books and things. E.L.A is chill. And then you get to high school and it's all about essays and then you're screwed. I'm so lucky- last semester I didn't have English, I only had history and it was that class, with the best teacher ever, that I learned how to write an essay. And now, this semester with English, I improved. :)
savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm
Whoa, that's so weird how you only have semester classes. All of my core classes are year long.  The only semester classes even available to me are my tech classes but I'm taking a year long one.  I've never heard of CP before, I don't think we have that at my school.  You're taking French and Arabic?  That's so cool!  I don't know if you can double on languages here.  We don't offer Arabic even though we have so many languages.  My school teaches F... (more »)
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm

CP are just basic classes. They have a fancy name but they are just regular classes that most people take. It's probably the same stuff your school has, just a different name. The semster schdeule is supposed to be like colledge. Yeah, at my school, we have a high Muslim population(I'm Muslim as well) so now Arabic is available. The teacher is not Muslim though, he's Christian-Arab. He's super nice. :) 

I'm taking French and Arabic next year. I do that because I'm Algerian(no duh ... (more »)

savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Yeah, my friend is really into Asian culture so she's taken some Chinese and she's currently taking her second year of Japanese.  She's constantly writing kanje all over everything.  There's like 3 different alphabets you have to learn for Japanese.


Hopefully, once I get to college I'll be able to study a year abroad in France where my French will become very handy.  Do you know what you want to major in yet?

Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 9:14 am
Cool, I've been to France four times. :) No, maybe journalism, a lawyer, political science, writer, movie director...etc
savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 10:44 am
*GASPS IN JEALOUSY*  I've never been to France...  The only foreign country I've ever been to is Japan and that's because we were visiting relatives who lived there.  Otherwise we couldn't have gone.  I really want to be some sort of scientist, but I'm not sure what field I want to go into yet.  Lawyer, *shudders*.  No offense to you of course, it's just not for me.
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm
yeah, my aunt lives in Paris. It's pretty cool. :) JAPAN! That's wicked! So jealous... Are you Japanese? I want to be a lawyer for children and people who feel like they don't have a voice in our society, I don't want to be one of those big shots who works for corporations. I like the risk, the toughness, but nothing's final.
savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm
No, I'm not but my uncle moves around a lot because of his job so he was stationed in Japan for several years and another few in Okinawa.  So I am very Japanese decor influenced.   I have this whole collection of kokeshi dolls.  I want to go into something environmentally related I think.  To stop the destruction of nature for selfish purposes.  No, no I didn't mean to imply working for a big corporation or anything like that.  My dad is a city attorney so I see wha... (more »)
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm

That's cool!:) 

My sister wants to do something like that. My sister makes sure our house is enviormently friendly-that the lighst are always off and that we're recycling everything...etc 

savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm
I like your sister already!  Yeah we recyle too, I try to get my family to do eveything as environmentally friendly as possible.  My dad drives a Prius, a really good hybrid car.  My only weakness is water use.  5 minute showers are not my thing.  I try to keep them to 15 minutes.  I keep trying to get them to switch to organic food.  It's more environmentally friendly but it's also much better for your health without all those pesticides.
savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm
Since you want to be a lawyer, maybe you could be an environmental lawyer.  My dad is constantly trying to convince me to become a lawyer saying that then I could combine the two.  But no, I don't want to be a lawyer.  I was just thinking that it might be of interest to you.  STOP THOSE AWFUL PEOPLE FROM DESTROYING EVERYTHING! :D
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