Reasons Why You Should Never Take AP Classes

Reasons Why You Should Never Take AP Classes

There are none.
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One of the best experiences that is available to high school students is the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses. These are college level courses taken at your high school that can give you college credits. These credits depend on the score you receive on the exam in May and the college you end up at. It is important to note that not all colleges accept AP credits and the standard score accepted varies between schools.

My high school offered a myriad of AP courses, and if they did not offer it, you could take via Virtual High School. These classes became available to students their junior year. This actually changed my senior year, and sophomores are now able to take some AP courses (which I am very jealous of). Between my junior and senior year, I took AP Biology, AP United States History, AP Literature and Composition, and AP Psychology. These courses were challenging and while taking them, I complained a lot. But at the end of the day, my scores on these exams gave me 9 credits going into my freshman year of college. This was because I scored a 3 or better on the five point scale used to grade the AP exams, on three out of my four AP tests.

Due to these credits coming into freshman year, I was allowed to pick my classes for spring semester a day before the rest of the freshman class began the enrollment process. This was fantastic because unlike a lot of my friends, I got all of the courses I wanted. Freshmen always get the last pick of classes, so being ahead by one day was a big advantage. Also, the credits transferring in completed a few of my general education requirements.

The four AP courses that I enrolled in, challenged me. I remember thinking, “if this is how college is, I’m screwed”. The first month of AP Literature, the teacher had us writing an essay a week. I was beyond overwhelmed. It did slow down, but we wrote more essays that year than I had in any prior English course. AP United States History was one of my favorite courses. It is awful, but prior to that course, I did not know much about the history of this country. After taking that course, I find myself able to synthesize and connect reading in my college courses to periods in our history. I am able to notice patterns in history and connect it to today. I find that this background knowledge has strengthened my papers in college.

AP Biology was easily the hardest AP course I took, and it is the class I did not receive credit for due to the score on the AP exam. The year started out with chapters on biochemistry. I had not taken regular chemistry, and I was drowning in confusion. I did poorly on tests, but I made up for it with take home assignments, labs, and other projects. I had a great grade in the class without really trying. I did not put as much effort into studying as I could and I know that is why I did poorly on the exam. Instead of preparing in-depth for each chapter test, I barely studied and then attempted to cram for the exam. It did not work and now I have developed ways to study effectively. My biggest regret is not trying harder in that course because I know if I did, I could have done much better on the exam.

AP Psychology was a course that required me to do more outside of class than in. In class we did a lot of activities that supported what was in the textbook, and we had a lot of discussions. We were left to learn the content on our own. Going into the course, my teacher said something that has stuck with me, “You will get what you put into this class." That was entirely true. I could have skipped outlining chapters, and doing the assigned vocabulary because he never checked that work. But if I had done that, I would have never learned the material. By putting in the extra work to learn the material, I did well in the class and on the exam.

These courses not only gave me credits going into college, but they exposed me to what to expect in college. They showed me the difference between a lecture-based course and a discussion-based course, and how to succeed in those different environments. They taught me studying strategies. These classes expanded my mind and taught me to think for myself. Through the literature I read, and the connections I made, I could form my own conclusions, whether it be about a pattern in history, or the overarching meaning of a literary piece. I developed skills necessary for college. I learned how write a decent paper and how to format a lab report. I learned to rely on myself and not solely on the teacher. The teacher can only do so much, it is up to you to take it to the next step.

I would recommend AP classes to anyone who is up for a challenge. These classes were challenging at the time, but they supplied me with skills that I do not think I could have lived without during my first semester of college. AP courses are offered in every subject area, from the humanities, social science, and laboratory sciences, to math, languages, art, and music. Even if you do not do well and your exam score is not suitable for college credit, the college will see that you challenged yourself and took the risk. There is more to gain than lose by taking an AP course.

Here is a complete list of AP courses!

Cover Image Credit: College Board

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Sometimes "Out With The Old In With The New" Isn't the Best thing

We can't lose touch of the simpler things in life

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When I think about how much has changed and how much my world has developed since I was little, I get mind boggled realizing how different things are. I work at a restaurant in the city that I grew up in and I see famillies come and go for dinner every night. They all seem the same. The parents will walk in, check in with the hostesses and wait to be seated. If they're asked to wait, the kids sit by their parents sides playing on phones that are probably too young to have. I understand that waiting can get tedious and boring. By the time that they would sit down, I'd imagine that they would put down the devices and engage in some good old fashion conversation. I was wrong. It made me sad to see kids eating dinners with their families with zero interaction. When I was younger, I enjoyed the quality conversations I would have with my family when we got breaks from our all very hectic schedules. It's amazing how much technology has advanced, but sometimes, I believe that we might rely on it too much.

Seems like more and more things are becoming industrialized. Those "mom and pop" shops are closing down due to corporate companies buying the land. I have enough Walmart and Targets in a ten minute radius from me. Sure, places like these carry necessities are important, but when local Nurseries are closed down in order to build a new gas station, it just becomes sad. As things progress more, the more we lose touch of our roots. The places that make home special and different. The moments we have as a kid that don't involve a light on our face. Modernism is a powerful and amazing thing but we need to take a step back and reevaluate what we hold closest to us.

All in all, as we continue to develop, I will continue to advocate for the simpler moments and the simpler times. I don't think my kids will need iPhones right out of elementary school, I'll continue to visit the same hometown shops and give them as much business as possible, I'll always ask if he kids want coloring sheets at the dinner table. Although these small things might not matter in our everyday new world, they matter to me. I will always try to have so much fun that I forget to document things with my phone. The laughter and memories without the technology present. Those are the moments worth remembering.

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