The Perks of Taking 5 APs

As everyone strives for the A+, the student body president title, the leader of an IASAS sport, and officer of a honor society, there is no longer a spot to accommodate for all.

Taking 5 AP Classes is tough and draining. As upperclassmen, SAS students head on to take some of the most challenging course load. It may be the reason why today SAS is rumoured to be one of the most challenging and well-known international schools around the world.

Aside from the school’s reputation for having challenging curriculums, the students in SAS are hard-driven and motivated overall. This challenging environment filled with enthusiastic and well-rounded students allow for competition to grow implicitly within the school. As everyone strives for the A+, the student body president title, the leader of an IASAS sport, and officer of an honor society, there is no longer a spot to accommodate for all. This is the main reason why SAS students both: get into some of the best schools and are placed at a disadvantage when it comes to getting opportunities to showcase their talent.

Personally, I have chosen one of the best decisions and possibly the worst decision of my high school career this year: taking precalculus, committing to five APs, and having one free. I will admit it was a big transition with ups and downs hitting me throughout the year. Yet, I found my year quite manageable unlike what many of my friends thought. This was because of the commitment I had to succeed whilst throwing at myself at a challenge in March of my sophomore year during class registration. Jumping from two AP/AT course last year to taking five made me realise the extent to how little commitment I had last year. But as a whole, I would say it was worth it.

Here are my reasons why:

While at times I did regret not choosing to take a free block once a day to destress myself and get work done, as a sophomore I found myself not using this precious hour of school time to be productive. As a sophomore, I would order Koi with my friends and only utilise half of my time for something useful. And while I was somewhat productive that half of my free block, it was something I could do at home in my sweats or even on my bed. Yet, when you have one free with a bunch of hard course work or cramming, you start to value this hour of prepping or “getting help from your teacher.” Being able to utilise this time to get constructive feedback from teachers, be productive in the quiet room, or even get lunch early so you can conference with your teacher is truly one of the best things I took away this year. I would hands-down recommend this for someone who just knows they won’t be productive by having two free blocks and for someone who is encouraged to be more mindful of time for their junior or senior year.

“As we conquer challenges that stand in our way like roadblocks, refusing to allow our passing, we find confidence in our abilities.”

Michael Clark, Researcher from the London School of Economics and Political Science

I am definitely not the only junior taking 5 APs. Yet, I won’t say I didn’t feel pressure from peers when choosing AP classes. While my intention to take 5 APs was never “to take the most APs to look better”, I did have an inner push in me to challenge myself more than ever this junior year. I knew that without challenging myself, I would not ever become a brainiac and face hardship came my way.

Textbook image taken from LionsRoarHSM.

Yes, it is true that I was aware I would be sobbing halfway through the second week of May from APs and testing, and yes I did know I would be spending all nighters to finish papers and study for exams over and over again. This constant routine of “study study study” was drilled in my brain and no I did not fret it because I wanted more than anyone to do better than I ever have in my life. I found that junior year was also a critical mark in my high school career to make a stepping stone into my dream college. So for those of you worrying, I say: Just do it. If you want it so badly, who can stop you?

Logo taken from Collegeboard

You may be wondering what I have personally gotten out of this process. Overall, junior year has challenged me more than ever before and this experience has taught me perseverance and a quick glimpse into what college life would be like.

Michael Clark, Researcher from the London School of Economics and Political Science, states, “As we conquer challenges that stand in our way like roadblocks, refusing to allow our passing, we find confidence in our abilities..with confidence in your own work, comes the reward of the confidence of others in you. Boosting that confidence is the growing self-esteem, which results from tackling challenges.”

As Clark mentions, I believe in the importance of being challenged and self-constructive. In summary, for the better of your student career: I challenge you to take the risk and give it a go. Worst case, you can always drop to an easier class! But trying to go from a regular to AP class, that is more of a stretch!

Image taken from flaticon.com

Author: Angela Hwang

Angela Hwang is a junior at Singapore American School and this is her second year working for The Eye. She is thrilled to return back to journalism and wants to produce more exciting content for the upcoming year. Angela embraces her Korean background, but considers Singapore her home. Her hobbies include taking aesthetic photographs, collecting CDs from her favorite artists, and travelling to some of the most majestic places on earth. She can be contacted at hwang41112@sas.edu.sg.

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