by Claire Brennan
Are you constantly having fights with your friends? Do you not know how to manage stress? Are your parents giving you a hard time?
Hi’s Eye is a paper for the students, by the students, and as seniors we hope we can provide advice through the paper. We want to keep this column running with your help; you may leave questions in the anonymous Google form that can be found on the home page of hiseye.org or in Mr. Hynes’ mailbox in the main office.
Q: Is it better to take AP and honors classes that I might not do that well in or take regular classes and get A’s?
A: In terms of college, it’s important to test yourself; taking honors and AP courses gives the impression that you’re immersing yourself in your studies, rather than just taking classes for credits. Diving right into your studies by taking a more rigorous course may even help you like the subject more.
Regardless, there’s no shame in taking a modest course load; there’s a college for everyone and every academic level. If it’s between a class you’re interested in and a difficult class that you’re not passionate about, consider taking the one you would enjoy the most. Excelling in a class you don’t even want to be in is draining!
I’ve found that a lot of “regular” classes I’ve taken have a lot more busy-work than their AP and honors counterparts. “Regular” classes may not go through content as fast or in as much depth, but what a “regular” class does cover tends to be beaten to death, which can be frustrating when you find that you understand the material.
My advice is to craft a balanced course load for yourself. Take higher-level classes when you feel you’ll be able to understand the subject matter easily and/or you’ll be able to dedicate enough time to compensate for learning the material you don’t understand. If you can do one of those, you might as well challenge yourself and get the college credits.
But don’t spend your entire high school career working for the college admissions board. Friday nights are meant to be spent with your friends, watching movies or relaxing after a week of hard work, not struggling to manage a course load.