Junior year is so much fun that I may potentially be losing my mind. Or that could be the sleep deprivation. So much like my post last year about how to not prepare for the SATs, I’m going to tell you guys a story about my past week at high school, where my eagerness for winter break was suddenly overshadowed by looming piles of schoolwork that frankly came out of nowhere.
I think this is something I should get out into the open: I am currently taking a bunch of AP classes and AP lunch (not really), which will soon be replaced by another class. Have I overloaded myself? Yes, most likely. Can I handle it? I thought so, up until this week. Test weeks (every other week) always stressed me out, but during those weeks, homework was always sporadic and during non-test weeks I felt almost relaxed. Junior year was treating me pretty well, even if I wasn’t getting as much sleep as I wanted. I was having fun with friends, watching my Senior friends freak out about college applications and acceptances, and sailing on pretty smooth waters. Then this week happened. Suddenly it became apparent that I was headed directly for disaster. If you want an analogy, I was the Titanic headed straight for the iceberg. This is what spelled my doom: 6 tests, an essay, and a project due the 3 days before winter break, and a C in a class that I had previously been doing well in. In the middle of the week I was suddenly struck by intense sleep deprivation that made me fall asleep sitting up in class, and a budding eye infection from said passing out in class was developing.
“Where did things start to go wrong? Why did I do this to myself? Dude, why do I suck?” I wailed to one of my friends.
“If I don’t come back next week, tell my Tumblr followers I love them.” I gravely told my best friend, before logging out of Gmail.
“I think I’m going to die.” I informed my mother, who remembered this same routine from last year right before my trainwreck of an SAT score and probably began mentally preparing herself for inevitable bad news and disownment.
However, dramatic monologues aside, this isn’t a lost cause at all. I’m certainly not ready to write it off as inevitable failure. But first, let’s talk AP courses.
AP is short for Advanced Placement, which I’m sure you all know is a step above Honors and two steps above Standard courses. AP goes through more difficult material most teachers have a tendency to give lots of homework. These courses are college level, and don’t let anyone make you think otherwise. But the thing is, I like AP courses. Why? There are a couple of reasons.
- I can get college credits for them.
- I find honors/standard classes slow and boring.
- AP courses boost your weighted GPA.
I’ve heard tons of people complaining about AP courses and scaring underclassmen away from them, and that’s completely wrong. While I can’t advocate taking more courses than you’re ready for, there is nothing to be gained from not challenging yourself at all. AP is definitely not as bad as some people make it out to be, and if you think you can handle a couple or more, I think you should definitely take them!
“But wait,” you are probably saying. “Didn’t you just tell me a horror story about Junior year and AP classes? What are you doing?! Why are you being contradictory?! AHHH!!!”
Do I regret taking 7 AP courses? Not at all. While I am suffering a little right now, this is quite literally the first time this whole year I’ve been so busy. It just happens that it gets a little crazy before break. And even if it is stressful as mess right now, I can still handle it. Like I said, I’m not ready to write myself off as a lost cause just yet. School only gets harder from here on, and it’s no use babying yourself before college! Underclassmen, take AP courses when you can! Juniors, we can do it! Seniors, I’m cheering for all of you applying for college! I’m sure we’ll all get out of here at least partially alive.