Are Advanced Courses Worth It?

It is time to overcome the myth about advanced courses being the only path to success.

Academic accomplishments has been a top priority for the majority of mankind. Educational success in high school leads to great college opportunities, which leads to great job opportunities, that eventually lead to a pretty successful life that wouldn’t be attained without your AP Physics class.

Because of this, American students spend hours of their day studying, doing homework, and stressing about the next exam. Some students may exceed in their advanced courses, others may fail, but the common motivation is a sense of hope that an impressive amount of advanced courses can set them up for life, even if they lose their mental stability along the way.

Because of this, students at a very young age have learned to regulate their academic abilities and decide if it is worth there mental health.

” I guess when it comes to stress and your work life balance you just got to find what works for you. You got to find a balance between what you can do and what you should do.” student Alexis Prevette (12)

Many students are encouraged to work through the crushing struggle of maintaining advanced courses, even if they are not doing well in them, because of a common social cue that is prevalent in today’s society: without sacrifice, there is no reward.

But what is the cost of that sacrifice?

“I consistently disregard my sleep, which is my only time of rest, to achieve the grades that are acceptable in the eyes of college and the rest of society. I suffer consistent stressful nights, juggling five advanced courses, the consequential homework, and sports,” student Wyatt Harris (11) said.

Contrary to popular belief, advanced courses are not the route to scholastic achievement. There are so many other ways to attain success and prosperity without stressing over advanced courses of any kind.

So today we are going to bust a few myths about advanced courses with the help of my father and Executive Director of Student Success, Kelley O’Neal.

“A common misconception about Advanced Placement courses is that these courses alone prepare a student to be successful in college,” O’Neal said.

There are other aspects of life that are needed in order to excel in college such as social skills, time management, networking, and so much more. Advanced courses may help a person attain these qualities, but they are not the sole key to success.   peaking of time management, depending on the student, advanced courses could probably inhibit growth due to other factors of the American school system that enhance this common issue.

“There are myriad reasons why students are not successful academically in college. The main reason is that many students do not understand how important time management is for their academic success. In high school students basically know what they are doing each day. In college they must manage large chunks of time each day. Since advanced classes require additional time that students won’t have once they are in college, many of them end up missing out on their work because of their freedom. Without discipline the student will find a way to do everything except study”, O’Neal said.

Now, I know what you are thinking:  ” Well, if advanced courses aren’t going to prompt me into success, then what other options do I have?  What I would say is that admissions professionals are looking for well-rounded students that of course do well in high school academically, but who also do great work outside of the classroom. I would encourage students to find something that they are interested in and pursue that while in high school. It is important to give back to their community, and that can be done in several ways. Volunteering, starting a student organization at their high school, even working is something that admissions specialist look at for students who have applied.”

When all is said and done, some students feel trapped between a rock and a hard place. Many are in a constant battle between what they believe to be their future and their mental stability. Yes, advanced courses can absolutely spark growth in anyone, but we must remove the notion that is is crucial for success. That way we can make sure that students can thrive academically, mentally, and emotionally.