College Classes: Worth It or a Waste Of Time


Maggie Leach, Reporter

College Classes: Worth It or a Waste of Time?


Millions of high school students enroll in AP and College classes every year. These classes are designed to deliver college level curriculum and examinations to students seeking potential college credit. These classes require double the amount of work as a regular class and tons of additional energy. High school students have enough on their plates as it is, so it poses the question, is all of this work really worth it in the end? 


Stress: Let’s talk about it


School causes stress. Well, yes we already knew that. But on a serious note, the amount of stress students are under now compared to past generations is crazy. When our parents were in school 30 years ago, there were more funding and scholarship opportunities for college and the average GPA at the time was around 2.9-3.0, compared to 3.3 today. What do these facts mean for today’s students? 


Today, it is significantly harder to earn a good scholarship to pay for the prices of colleges which have also dramatically increased.  Adding an AP or College class to your schedule will bump up your weighted GPA. Plus, if you have a lower GPA than someone who takes no advanced classes, colleges are more likely to seek you out as a prospective student because you are taking difficult, rigorous classes. 


On the surface this may sound like a dream, but as mentioned before, stress can be a major issue for high school students. Most if not all high school students try and at least have a social life outside of school and most participate in school sports. Make your decision based not on if you will have time but if YOU can handle it. No one will be disappointed if you do not feel prepared for the class, but rather, it was a responsible decision that you were looking out for you and your mental health.


The Drawbacks? 

Let’s say you work really hard in an AP class all year round and the final exam is just around the corner. Well this should sound familiar to some readers because in reality AP exams are approaching! You have been working your tail off the whole year and when the test comes around you receive a well… less than exciting score that does not allow you to receive credit for this class, even after all the work.


This is frustrating and this happens to students all across the country. Just because you do well in the class does not mean you are guaranteed the credit. College classes on the other hand, as long as you pass the course you are guaranteed the credit. So, if you are not the ideal student when it comes to final exams, maybe college classes are better suited for you.


Expanding on this idea, let’s cover whether or not your credits will even be accepted by the college of your choice. If you took APUSH, AP Chemistry or any other course in that area there is a chance that your college will not accept these credits you have worked day and night to earn. 


Now that you have been notified about all of the drawbacks, let’s reign you in with some positives to taking these classes. One of the reasons most students take these classes is to be prepared for college (if they choose the route of higher education). These classes will teach you to write better, form stronger ideas and opinions, and ask the right questions. Even if you choose to go into the workforce right after graduating, these classes can help you. 


To summarize, higher level courses are going to help you more than not taking them at all. Take on the challenge. But please remember that just because you achieve good grades does not guarantee you admission to school. To set yourself apart from other students who take the SAME classes, go out and do something. Volunteer, join a club dedicated to Justin Bieber, even make a YouTube series rating dollar store chocolates. Find something that you are passionate about and run with it. Because no matter what your grades are, you are you, and a letter on a piece of paper does not define YOU.