Accepting the AP challenge



Evans works on building a robot in an MLGW worker’s machine shop after school for a competition in Huntsville from March 15 to 17.

Overcommitment is a possible pitfall for every student, but many Spartans seem to handle their workload with ease. Or they just stay up late. Some see fellow students taking several AP (Advanced Placement) classes and wonder how they survive, but for many, it is a welcomed challenge.

For Sukanya Barman (11), AP classes help her evade boredom.

“AP classes give me a chance to just find something that makes me work hard and makes me actually engaged and focused in class,” Barman said.

While some take demanding courses to boost their chances of obtaining scholarships, others  do so because of their interest in the topics.

“In particular, those physics classes are just preparing me for engineering, whereas Calculus and Calculus III prepare me for the physics and mathematics path I want to take in college and in life,” Levi Evans (12) said.

Guidance counselor Heather Heaston believes students should take AP courses they will enjoy rather than to boost their GPA or compete with others.

“There are some students that take these courses for the knowledge, and there are some that take it for the grade,” Heaston said.

Academics are not the only focus for these motivated students. Evans, the co-president of the Robotics Club, is a member of the Math Club, Quiz Bowl and the Frisbee team. Barman is currently the co-president of the French Club, participates in Mock Trial, Quiz Bowl, Model UN and Science Olympiad. Allen Wu (10), a dedicated student taking several APs, is involved in Biology Olympiad, Model UN, Chess Club and the soccer team.

AP courses combined with outside activities can take a toll on students, but the key seems to be cultivating time management skills.

“You know how much work you can do, and just don’t take too much if you don’t think you can do it,” Wu said.

Taking AP courses may not be for everyone, but for some, it just makes sense.

“I think being an AP, nerdy student is just as valid an experience as any other experience,” Evans said.