By Andrew Wong
Freshman year for me was the year I began meeting new friends and learning among st them. For most people, freshman year stands out as an easy year; but it didn’t turn out the same way for me. For me, I was supposed to be placed in Math 1, like every other freshman. But in mistake, the school mistakenly skipped two math levels for me and placed me into Algebra 2. At the time, I felt good about myself being in a higher math level than most of my peers; and because of that, I chose to stay in that level even when offered to move back into Math 1 where I supposedly belonged.
Algebra 2 became one of my biggest struggles for me as a freshman because of my lack of knowledge of the previous 2 levels. Miraculously, I was able to pass the course and move onto Pre-Calculus, and then Calculus in the following years. My ego grew as I advanced onto these classes, making me feel that I was smart and my social stance among peers grew positively because of these classes. I became so egotistical that I even signed up for more honor courses such as English 2A and AP Psychology. I didn’t think to consider about how hard these classes can get and the workload that would stack me for hours, and eventually I did pay that price. Being too much to handle, my GPA suffered and I spent countless hours studying for them.
Of course, my ego wasn’t the only reason for me signing up for honors/AP courses. Many classmates and friends whom I associated with commonly signed up for these classes. As a freshman, I was highly encouraged to sign up as I learn and work alongside my other fellow peers. Although I did get what I wanted, the aftereffects was too much for me to handle as either the workload was very heavy, or it was something I struggled to get good scores on.
Four years after these events occurred, senior year has finally come to show itself. Entering into this domain, I’ve learned from these mistakes and chose a lot of less challenging classes for myself, to ensure a relaxing and comfortable year without stress. With easy classes, came an easy life, most of my year ended up being me relaxing at home and mostly working on other responsibilities outside of school. Of course, I have times where I had a lot to do for school and homework stacked upon me, but they never felt too much of a challenge compared to what I had the previous years.
The facts do stay true that taking honors and AP courses benefit for your educational skills and help with your college applications/courses; and personally I do encourage this. However, I believe that honors/AP aren’t necessary to your future, and there’s nothing wrong with an easier route. Take courses to improve your academic understanding instead of your social life. Because in the end, you’ll still have end up in the same route where you’ll pursue in a famous university or any kind of university you want to set yourself into.