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AP Courses: One Path to Achieving a Challenge

Josephine Kling
Anya Geynisman
Josephine Kling

The transition from freshman to sophomore year means having only academic and honors classes available to be able to take up to four AP classes. Going from a year of ninth-grade classes that are hard because of the new environment and expectations of learning to AP classes that require a lot of dedication at a level that you’ve never experienced before can be extremely challenging. Mrs. Ward, the AP Language and Composition teacher, talks about the transition from 9th to 10th grade as a “pivotal year,” where a student finds what it means to “define themselves self as a student” and begins to think about how their classes are leading them into their lives after high school.

Taking AP classes can be one path that students take in that pivotal year to challenge themselves. There are five AP courses offered in sophomore year at STHS: AP Language And Composition, AP US History, AP Psychology, AP Computer Science, and a variety of AP math classes. Having all of these classes fit into your schedule is close to impossible, so figuring out which ones to take and if you want to take them at all can be very hard. 

The question that you should ask yourself is if you’re ready for AP classes. Mrs. Ward suggests everyone should “be a little bit more thoughtful and careful about what they are getting into when they select” because there is a very common occurrence of the workload being overwhelming for the students. With hours of work for some AP classes, a student must think about what effect the classes will have on them. With sports, extracurriculars, outside responsibilities, and other priorities, too many AP classes can harm student by overwhelming them with work they can not complete rather than furthering their education.

If planned with consideration to other time commitments, Mrs. Ward does believe, though, that sophomore year is often an “appropriate time” to begin AP classes. Likewise, our school psychologist, Dr. Myhasuk, believes that “burnout is absolutely a real thing, so you just want to make sure that there’s a nice balance there.”

Though some AP classes can be harmful for many students, they can also be great opportunities for many. Taking AP classes such as AP Lang in sophomore year can also prepare students with certain skills for AP classes in their later high school years. Mrs. Ward after seeing the skills used throughout the “AP World” says, “taking one their 10th grade year can be a really great step into challenging themselves.”

According to College Board, AP classes in high school build “skills and confidence,” helps a student “stand out to colleges,” and helps that student “succeed in college” or the possibility of getting money off of college tuition. Senior, Zhanna Ivanick, who took two AP classes in her junior year, and is currently taking four says “it was more like it was the next step” to expand her knowledge in certain topics and that AP classes offered her that. Ivanick also says she “thought it would be nice for certain APs to be on my resume for college.” She felt ready to take AP classes once she had already found interest in a course subject and felt she could now advance.

Josephine Kling, a sophomore, is currently taking four AP classes. She says she took them because of her interest in them. Kling, who enjoys all of her AP classes, does warn that it is “a lot, and sometimes I don’t get that much sleep.”  Despite this, she feels like the courses are a great resource for her to learn about her interests in depth. 

In our school, students take a range of courses, all depending on how ready or able they feel for certain classes. It is important that students understand how prepared they are in order to choose their next challenging course.

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About the Contributor
Anya Geynisman, Writer
Anya Geynisman, class of 2026, is a writer for The Chronicle. She enjoys playing softball, listening to and playing music, and watching baseball and Netflix. At STHS, she participates in YAG, The Chronicle, Relay For Life, and Interact Club.
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