Taking AP classes as an underclassman is unnecessary

We‘ve been told how there is such a big jump between middle school and high school, but truth be told I wasn’t too worried about it until I stepped foot into my first ever high school classroom. 

I felt like I had been blindfolded and pushed into a sea of the unknown where everyone else was staying afloat but me. Everyone seemed to know exactly what courses they were gonna take, what college they wanted to pursue, and what profession they wanted to be in. 

I was lost at sea. 

Before high school I had taken advanced courses and honors classes, but in ninth grade I took all the normal classes anyone would take. I felt like I was behind all my peers since they were already taking AP classes. As the year went on, I regretted not challenging myself more and questioned if I should have taken harder classes. 

The pressures of peers shouldn’t make you want to take AP classes. You don’t have to do what your peers are doing. Everyone is moving at a different pace, but we will all finish together. 

It wasn’t until junior year that I took my first AP: AP Psychology. I felt I was ready to take on some hard classes and challenge myself. I quickly realized it truly was gonna be a lot tougher than any other class I took. 

I struggled with having more than three hours of homework every day added on to my busy sports schedule. 

I was drowning. 

I started to understand how challenging it would have been to take AP classes freshman year. I realized that AP classes don’t need to be taken freshman or sophomore year when the majority of people wouldn’t be ready for it. It’s just unnecessary. 

As the year went on I struggled less and started to see my grades to start slowly improving because I had the foundation of work habits from my previous years. Throughout freshman and sophomore year I learned to build my work ethic and prioritize my time between classes and extracurriculars.

Freshman year, I wouldn’t have been able to handle having three hours of homework, or reading a textbook for an hour every day and that’s OK. I gathered these skills throughout my regular classes which led me to succeed in my AP classes. By the end of the year I had earned A’s and B’s in all my classes. 

You don’t need to take AP classes freshman or even sophomore year. It’s not necessary. Not taking them doesn’t mean you’re slower than everyone else. Not taking them doesn’t mean you’re any less intelligent. Not taking them doesn’t mean you have failed.

You’re in high school so you should be taking high school level courses.