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  • Saige Joseph

Despite Being Stressful, AP and Honors Classes Have Advantages

By Saige Joseph As a high school student in Lake Forest, I’ve found there is a lot of pressure to take the hardest classes, which stresses out many of us. Despite that unpleasantness, there are many advantages to taking Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors classes.

Work Ethic

Being in an AP/Honors level class requires you to find a solid foundation for completing work that you can rely on. If you do not have a good work ethic established, then it is hard to be productive and accomplish the work assigned.

"Since I’ve been taking AP classes, I know how to manage my time in a way that is most efficient," says columnist Saige Joseph.

Just this year, I have noticed that I have become more accustomed to procrastinating my homework. I am not sure why this started. I have just noticed that I am less motivated to actually complete my homework than before.

If I want to be able to get things done on time and stay successful in a class, I know that I have to stay on track and make a plan for myself. I have learned how to manage my time, thanks to being pushed in different advanced classes that I have taken in the past.

Last year I took the class, AP Seminar, which was the first AP class that I ever took. It pushed me to really use my time wisely and plan out how I was going to spend my time finishing certain projects. I had to change the way that I was used to doing homework and adapt it to fit the new goals that I had to meet. I learned to ask questions when I was confused, because otherwise teachers just assume that you understand everything already. You have to be an advocate for yourself.

Push Limits

Being in an AP environment is rigorous. The students are all on top of their work, and the teacher naturally expects more from you. I was pushed to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. In my AP Seminar class, I have never read so many articles and analyzed them within a week.

But because of that, I now know how to synthesize information that I read, and evaluate and comprehend what information I take in. I was pushed to limits I did not think that I was capable of breaking. I learned how to become a better overall student in the rest of my classes.

Time Management

Managing time is one of the most difficult challenges of being a high school student. Every day you are given homework in up to eight classes, go to extracurricular activities, and expected to get a good night's sleep.

It is simply impossible to accomplish all of that every single day. Since I’ve been taking AP classes, I know how to manage my time in a way that is most efficient.

Some days I finish all my homework relatively early, while others I am up later than I would expect. I have learned to take advantage of the time on those nights when I finish all my work. I get ahead on other work that is not due until a later date, and make progress, benefiting myself in the future.

Questioning Decisions

Much is expected of students that either do not want to take these classes or do not have the time in their schedules to make it work. Instead of having these students feel bad for being in different classes, there should be no shame or comparisons into their capabilities.

I was talking with a friend one time, and we had been comparing classes to take the next year. I said I was only taking one AP class, while my friend was taking four. My friend had not done anything wrong, but instantly I started to question how smart I was. If my friend was taking four AP classes, then should I be taking more?

AP and Honors classes simply create that kind of stress among us. But at the same time, taking them can help push you to learn good habits that you can use for the rest of your life. Saige Joseph is a junior at Lake Forest High School. Lake Forest Love student columnists share their thoughts about life at the high school.


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