AP Classes: effects on students

Anya Madlangbayan

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Regular, Honors, and Advanced Placement are three levels of classes taken by GCHS students. All three are different levels in terms of rigor and workload to fit a student’s pace. While there may be a difference in difficulty, being in a certain level of class has its own stereotypes and social expectations.

For example, AP students are seen as serious and stressed.

“Because I’m an AP student a lot of kids are just like, ‘oh, you’re a nerd, you don’t have any fun, you’re just bombarded with schoolwork.’ Whereas when I was in regular classes they were like ‘oh, wanna hang out, you seem really fun to hang out with!’” said junior AP United States History student Nina Stone.

Of course, the opposite is true as well. While students in AP classes are seen as students with a large, often overbearing workflow, students in regular classes are seen differently.

Stone said that because they have seemingly less work, it seems like “[People in regular classes] have more time to do things, where it’s like ‘oh, I didn’t bother inviting you to this get-together because you’re an AP student, you have no social life.'”

Students in regular classes are also seen as not as intelligent, which may damage a student’s self-image.

Students such as senior Matt Colinelli note that, because they are in regular classes, they feel “not as smart” as their peers in AP and Honors classes.

“When I’m in a regular class, I think ‘wow, I’m an idiot,’” said Colinelli.

“I don’t really think that their classes would separate them. I mean, I still hang out with other students that are in lower level classes than me,” said sophomore Naryah Quinn. Students such as Quinn don’t see this supposed difference, believing that level of class would not define one socially.

So why is there a perceived difference at all?

“It feels like colleges won’t accept me without AP classes, even if that isn’t true. It feels like you have to be in all honors or in all AP classes,” said Colinelli.

Whether there is a real difference or not is difficult to say- however, it is important that we all realize that at the end of the day, we’re all students, and just because we may be in different levels doesn’t mean we have to be treated differently by our peers.