Senior Farewell: I took too many AP classes

Advanced Placement classes are among the hardest things high school has to offer, and while taking these courses can pay off incredibly, they certainly are not a necessity for every student.

I know this better than most students. I took a total of 11 AP courses over the past two years, and I regret the opportunities I lost while trying to keep up with all of the work.

Sure, colleges offer credits if students do well on the AP test, saving students thousands of dollars in the process. But many colleges only accept a score of four or five on the AP exam, an accomplishment that less than 30 percent of students achieve on each test.

Often, students in AP courses only take those classes to boost their GPA, and many will not even take the course’s AP test, opting against spending money on the test registration fees.

It’s understandable for students to want to take these classes to increase their chances of getting admitted to a great college or to earn financial aid. I followed that exact path, and I will admit that I got into one of my dream colleges and received plenty of scholarships.

But I also poured all of my energy into these classes in an effort to receive good grades, and not every student may want to do that.

These courses take plenty of time and effort to complete, and the trade-off for that small boost in GPA is hours upon hours of homework, studying, and stress that can make students want to pull their hair out.

High school has so many opportunities to offer, in the form of different clubs, sports, and activities. When students take loads of AP classes, they may be missing out on these chances to make new friends, compete with other students, and perhaps most importantly, just enjoy themselves.

I made the decision to take a total of 12 AP classes throughout my high school career, including 11 in the last two years alone, and it was draining. I lost out on plenty of opportunities I would love to have back.

I was forced to quit football because I could not keep up with the strenuous schedule, I missed plenty of family events to study or do homework, and I even skipped Junior Prom to study for AP Tests. These are decisions that I constantly regret.

This advice may not apply to every student, and those who want to take every AP class possible should go for it. But others should not feel pressured to do so, because these courses certainly aren’t worth the grind for every student.


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