The seniors have finally left, and now it’s the class of ‘18’s turn to have their last year in high school. As rising seniors, we’re faced with figuring out how to make our last year the least stressful and the most enjoyable it can be.
One of the things I’ve heard rising seniors discuss is how they’re not going to take any AP exams next year, since it’ll be after they’ve already gotten into college, so it won’t benefit them and will only add to their stress. Maybe I’m just weird, but it feels like I’m the only one who’s actually going to be taking AP exams at the end of senior year.
I understand the arguments for not taking them. They definitely are more stressful than beneficial, especially in senior year. Many colleges won’t even accept AP classes as credit anymore, so it seems pointless to take a test that won’t do anything.
But these exams shouldn’t just be a way for us to get credit. They shouldn’t just be something we take because that’s what colleges want. The Collegeboard itself doesn’t seem to understand this, but AP exams should be simply a way to evaluate your proficiency in AP classes. And AP classes should be an optional advanced level that people take not because they have to, not because colleges won’t look twice at them otherwise, not because “that’s what you do”, but because they legitimately want to learn.
Senior year has become a race to a finish line that shouldn’t even exist. We don’t want to do anything because we want it to be over as soon as possible. But that shouldn’t be the attitude we have at any point in our education. The fact that there are so many seniors who just don’t take AP exams reveals that, fundamentally, we treat high school like it’s just an unfortunate stopping point before the “real world”, when we should be treating it like the important part of our education that it is.
We need to stop rushing through high school. This should be something we enjoy, not something we can’t wait to leave. It’s not students’ fault that they’re losing interest (or never had any) in school, but whatever the cause is, it’s something that needs to be changed.