AP classes worth challenge

Motivation to succeed drives some to take on tougher classes


Kevin Gutierrez

Senior Dylan Grace and junior Jake Moreno are constructing paper windmills. The class, AP Physics, was testing to see whose windmill would be able to pull up a weight the best.

When it comes to picking classes many students stray away from being in what some may call “harder class.” The rumors of more classwork, homework and stricter rules can create an intimidating image of higher classes. Yet, there are those who want to tackle the challenge of being in an Advanced Placement class.

“It’s a little different,” senior Joel Alvarez said.

Alvarez, who didn’t take an AP English class last year, said that he wasn’t planning on taking it this year because he was intimidated from things he had heard from his peers. Yet, his his long term sub Teddy Southern from his junior year pushed him to take AP classes. With the push from his English acher and little motivation from his coaches, he decided that taking an AP class was best for him. “So far it’s paid off,” Alvarez said. “Unlike non honors classes my classmates this year take their work more serious.”

Alvarez added that instead of just “scratching the surface” of topics in his less rigorous classes, his AP classes go more in depth about the work he’s doing. Being in an AP class, he said, feels more of a competition between him and his other classmates, which he enjoys. He explained that taking an AP class makes him feel more prepared for college and gives him a little more experience of the challenges he might face.

“At first I was a little intimidated,” Alvarez said. “But my AP classes have turned out to be two of my favorite classes that I’ve taken in high school.

Junior Malia Christiano thought she couldn’t meet the expectations for an AP class, seeing her friends stress over homework was something she didn’t want to do to herself.
“It’s worth all the homework and stress,” Christiano said. “It challenges me to actually think about everything I’m doing.”

She believes that not everyone is equipped for the challenges. “You have to be committed and actually want to better your education.” She says if you’re not focused and serious about an AP class you can cause yourself to fall behind.

AP U.S History teacher Tara Hayes says the switch from non AP to AP classes all depends on the student. She says that she has seen students be successful with the transition as well as students who haven’t.

“As long as their willing to to meet the expectations they should be fine,” Hayes said. “I’ve had students who have never taken an AP class but come in here and do well.”

Just like Alvarez, senior Dylan Grace didn’t experience any AP classes his junior year. When picking classes for his senior year he felt that he was better off finishing his senior year with more beneficial classes.Grace explained what motivated him to add three AP classes to his senior schedule is the fact that he would be more prepared for college.

“I felt like the non AP classes moved at a slower pace,” Grace said. “In AP it moves fast, but it’s actually challenging me.”

He said that the AP classes offer him chances to improve on things like multiple choice and his essay writing. He believes that taking these classes has prepared him more for the AP test compared to if he was still in non AP classes.

“These classes give me real examples of what the test is really like,” Grace said.

Grace went onto say that at first he was a little hesitant about taking these classes due to the summer   work that he had to do, but once he actually started the class he was fine.
“It’s understable that AP isn’t for everyone,” Alvarez said. “But if you find that now the classes you’re taking are really easy why not give it a try.”