Bibb, Houston students balance AP courses

February 17, 2014 

Stephanie Campbell, an 18-year-old senior at The Westfield School, is taking AP classes in psychology and government.

“I took two AP classes this year because I have taken four over the past two years and it was stressful. Keeping up with all the work and projects was difficult, so I decided for my senior year, I would still challenge myself with two AP classes but not overload myself with too much work. I want to enjoy senior year.”

Olivia Kinnebrew, a 17-year-old senior at The Westfield School, is taking four AP classes in the subjects of economics, literature and composition, calculus and psychology.

“I really wanted to take a difficult course load in order to succeed in college and have an easy freshman year.”

Katherine Bolles, a 17-year-old senior at First Presbyterian Day School, is taking AP classes in art, government and literature.

“I designate time each day to study for my classes. I try to use every spare moment I have like study halls and lunch breaks, and sometimes we finish early in my other classes and I use that time to go work on an art project or my government portfolio,” Bolles said. “I don’t think AP classes are stressful, they can be, but I think that it can be doable if you learn to manage your time wisely.”

William Roddenberry, a 17-year-old senior at First Presbyterian Day School, has taken 10 AP classes in his high school career. He is currently taking AP classes in government, chemistry, calculus, literature and computer science online.

“I think the key to keeping a balance with so many APs is learning how to manage your time. You should go into your AP class knowing what the expectations are and be diligent in getting your work done on time. Some APs are more work than others, so it’s important to keep that in mind when signing up to take them.”

Jani Holden, a senior at Houston County High School, is taking AP classes in calculus, physics and literature.

“The workload is kind of heavy, but if you take the time and you sit down, and you do what you need to, it’s not that hard. ... (The AP classes) are more demanding than reg-ed would have been, and I think that would help me in college.”

Alex Mercer, a senior at Houston County High School, is taking AP classes in calculus and physics.

“I just thought that they would be better for my education. I thought it would help me out in the long run. I’m interested in engineering, and I think physics and calculus are probably two of the biggest factors in that job field. ... (The workload) is kind of heavy. (In) calculus there’s a lot of homework, but physics isn’t too bad. ... I guess if I was using my time for anything else I wouldn’t be as productive, so it’s not like there is much regret. But it is taking up a lot of time.”

Brandon Hancock, a senior at Houston County High School, is taking AP classes in calculus and computer science.

“(The classes are) more of a ‘make-sure-you-understand-everything-by-yourself’ idea. It’s more of an independent kind of thing ... everyone’s learning at their own pace. So, what might take someone five minutes to learn, you might have to spend an extra 30 at home trying to grasp the concept. ... With (calculus) and AP computer science I’m spending a lot of time on my own -- either on YouTube, going through books or just re-doing homework problems, over and over, until I understand them.”

Jonathan Nguyen, a senior at Houston County High School, is taking AP classes in computer science, calculus, microeconomics and physics.

“I know (that for) Georgia Tech you need a lot of hard classes to get in, so I figured I might as well take stuff I’m good at and take stuff that appeals to Georgia Tech since it’s an engineering type of school. ... Based on the contract they gave us at the start of the year that said we needed like two hours of studying every night ... I knew how much I was taking (on) when I took four courses.”

Telegraph Teen Board members Davien Brown, Baylee Culverhouse and Mary Helen Douglas contributed to this report.

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