Succeeding without advanced placement classes


Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

Phoebe Mendelson ’17


Over the course of my four years at Staples, I’d like to think that I’ve learned and gained insight on a few things, one of them being that there are many experienced and knowledgeable adults and students who take the opportunity to impart their wisdom on others. While you should take full advantage of all the people who are here to help you through things like the college process, it is also crucial to understand that these opinions are merely suggestions, not mandates. .

With so many voices in your head, it can be difficult to tune the unimportant ones out, but it is crucial to do so. One of the opinions that is constantly floating around the Staples community is that you need to add at least one more AP class to your schedule each year than you had the year before. So, if you decided to take AP U.S. your sophomore year, by senior year you’re taking AP Economics, European History, and Spanish; but why? Is it because you’re truly interested in the subject and feel as though you can excel in it, or is it because you want to get into college and so many people throughout your high school career have told you that you must take these classes in order to do so? Just taking one AP can be completely overwhelming, and sometimes these classes are not right for everyone. I’ve only taken one AP class in my high school career, and as a second semester senior, I wouldn’t change anything. Taking appropriate level classes gave me the opportunity to attend a school where I could excel and push myself, however, I never had to stress over multiple AP classes.

I think it’s fantastic that Staples offers so many of these classes, however, I think both students and teachers need to emphasize that we should be taking classes that we enjoy and feel are a good fit for us, rather than giving us a formula to get into college.

I think it’s important for Staples to  implement a mindset that doesn’t make students feel as though they are doing something wrong for not taking AP courses, but rather emphasize that students follow their own path which should be focused on their own interests and aspirations. Each student walking through the halls of Staples is vastly different from the next, and it is important to keep reinforcing that individuality