Why you should sign up for as many AP courses as humanly (or inhumanly) possible


Jessi Rich, Staff Writer

While the start of the next school year remains far, the Milton guidance staff is already preparing the student academic schedules for the fall semester. Milton students of every grade are making final decisions on which classes to take, as these classes may influence their academic success in their remaining years at Milton, and beyond.


While it’s wise to carefully consider your options before making a decision about your schedule, it is, however, inherently obvious that you should load up on as many Advanced Placement (AP) courses as possible.


For starters, taking six in-depth, intensive AP courses at once, each with four hours of homework a night (yes, even AP electives such as AP Underwater Basket-weaving), is clearly the only way to prove to potential colleges or universities that you are an intelligent, capable and real person.


No university cares about the millions of dollars you raised for starving children, or the single mother to whom you donated a kidney, or the hours and hours you spent knitting socks for old people abandoned in senior living homes; they care about the number of times “AP” shows up on your transcript (which should be at least 35 by the time you graduate).


For reference, let’s take a look at the college search process of former Milton senior, Richard Long.


Long participated in several extracurriculars during his time at Milton, including the soccer team, model UN, and the Flat Earthers Club. Long even found the cure for cancer after he accidentally burned a microwave mac-and-cheese cup in his junior year (these instances were unrelated). Even with these extensive qualifications, Long still received a rejection letter from Harvard University, as he had only taken twelve AP classes, and not one of them was underwater basket-weaving.


Advisors often prioritize the idea of having a proverbial “balance” between life inside and outside of school, and while having a decent equilibrium between academics, social life, and mental health may seem like the key to success, in reality it’s quite the opposite. Studies show that students who disregard this “balance” and focus purely on academics and nothing else score higher grades than students who also focus on aspects of life outside academics. “Obviously this would be the outcome,” comments an anonymous scientist who conducted one of the studies. “No, really. This is obvious.”


In the face of this knowledge, you may be worried that taking so many AP courses will lead to stress or anxiety. In fact, you’re probably right. However, a bit of stress is good for the soul. How are you going to learn to deal with more stressful situations in college, like student debt and starvation, if you don’t expose yourself to stress now? Colleges like to see you stressed. Colleges like to see you be successful in spite of that stress. Really, they like to see you stressed.


Thus, while you’re making your final class decisions about the next academic year, remember that taking all of the AP Courses available (especially underwater basket-weaving, as that is a necessary skill you will need for the entirety of your life) is likely the best course of action. Always consider what you want, what Milton wants and what colleges want–for they are very rarely the same thing, except when they are, which is how it should be.


By: Jessi Rich

Image: First Presbyterian Day School