AP Classes and Straight A’s, Not Enough?


Alongside the busy lives of students, AP classes can add an extra level of struggle. Graphic by David Galaviz.

Many students spend four years earning college credits to get into prestigious universities, yet some are rejected by their top choices, so the stress and frustration may feel wasted.

During these students’ experience in high school, they will have a schedule full of extracurricular activities, clubs, and classes. Some students will try to do everything in their power to attain the top grades and get all the accolades to attain the acceptance letter from their desired college or university.

“Right now, it is really competitive to get into college, and everyone is taking every AP class, and everyone is doing everything they can do,” Sophia Bernardo a junior at Cal State Fullerton said, “The balance between social life and school life will set you apart because then you will have experience in social skills, work life, and the knowledge from textbooks.”

Grades are not everything that colleges and universities are looking for, though. Colleges also look at students’ participation in extracurricular activities, community service and leadership roles, such as ASB or Renaissance.

“If you just focus on school education, then you will not have the experience of meeting new people and experience in having your first job in high school,” Bernardo said, “Do not stress yourself out, and think that you have to do everything, every club, and every AP class in high school.”

It is important for high school students that want to go to college or university to think early on about their interests and dislikes so that they don’t spend too much time in classes that they will not need in their career of choice or for the colleges they want to attend. Students should focus on their interests, and be involved in their school and community because they will not waste their money or time on their dislikes. This can help reduce stress and frustrations.

“It’s good to challenge yourself in taking AP courses, but if you know those classes will not be part of the career you are interested in, then it’s not worth the stress of cramming all the information in your head,” Bernardo said, “You also have to have a life in high school because once you get to college it’s all on yourself, and the professors may not be as easily accessible to help you.”