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Old 09-29-2011, 09:48 AM
 
907 posts, read 1,312,088 times
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I spend a lot of time on a website that's is sort of like this but purely for high school and college related posts. I see posts saying that as a sophomore some people are taking AP bio, AP calculus, AP gov etc ( which I don't even know how it's possible) and then in addition to taking 6 AP classes they're self studying 3 extra AP classes ( refering to all high schoolers now), in 12 extra curricular clubs and upset because they scored a 2250 on the SAT and because they're pulling a 3.89 overall GPA.

Now maybe because I am a teenager I see this unreasonable but what do you all think. I feel like if I was to enroll myself and put that much on my plate I would crazy. As a teen I feel like it's important to have a social life. Now I don't go out partying every weekend but I like to have people over, I go out to the movies, take trips to the city and ocassionally I do go to a party. How can anyone with this much of a workload have any sort of non academic life? I know I'm in AP history and sometimes I get 3 hours of homework on top of homework for my other 8 classes.

Opinions/ thoughts? Am I really that off and out of touch with reality or am I sort of right?
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:58 AM
 
5,473 posts, read 8,162,916 times
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Some people (Such as myself) Function more efficiently under a heavier load.

I know it sounds odd, but I have been getting done more rapidly with 19 Hour terms than my current 15 hours... because I know how much I have to do and knock it out quicker.

Last edited by toobusytoday; 09-29-2011 at 10:04 AM.. Reason: removed inappropriate language
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:03 AM
 
12,454 posts, read 27,069,551 times
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College Confidential (just a guess) is made up of over-achievers and some liars . If you need some advice, stop by the parents forum... The way GPA is calculated is often misleading. I understand that many schools weight grades by up to two points which means that a 3.8 is really not a 3.8.

It sounds like you have a balanced life, like most normal teens. My youngest took more AP classes then his brother or sister and that was 5. All three had no trouble finding colleges that they liked and were accepted to.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:20 AM
 
907 posts, read 1,312,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
College Confidential (just a guess) is made up of over-achievers and some liars . If you need some advice, stop by the parents forum... The way GPA is calculated is often misleading. I understand that many schools weight grades by up to two points which means that a 3.8 is really not a 3.8.

It sounds like you have a balanced life, like most normal teens. My youngest took more AP classes then his brother or sister and that was 5. All three had no trouble finding colleges that they liked and were accepted to.
Haha good guess!

To the poster above I understand the whole concept of working better with more but I guess it's hard for me to picture a teen (or a barely there teen I.e 13/14) to know that's how they need to work to do well
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:34 AM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,122,056 times
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Just try not to overextend yourself, OP. I would say that I had a slightly above average workload in high school and I did perfectly fine later on. I was accepted to a very good public university into one of the best programs in the country.

The moral of my short anecdote is that you don't need to go balls to the wall crazy to do well in life. Like another poster mentioned, some people actually thrive under that kind of pressure. I work with a woman who is taking on more duties at work than is required of her, while training for marathons and going to B-School at night. She always seems stressed, but it's not like she doesn't have a choice in this matter. She could always drop a few things, but she doesn't. I think she likes it how it is.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,412 posts, read 8,279,710 times
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It can be hard to find the right balance that works for a student. How much academics can you balance without feeling over stressed with other areas of your life suffering greatly. What areas of your life are you willing to cut back on (e.g. social, sports, etc.)? What are your life goals and what are the paths to getting there?

Highly organized, academically motivated, and academically advanced people may function very well under a heavy academic load. Some are so motivated by acquiring knowledge that they enjoy staying in on a Friday night to read a science textbook for fun. (Had a sister like this).

Others place a higher value on fitting in social activities. And social activities (not just academics) are very important to success in life. It teaches you interpersonal, communication, negotiating, and leadership skills that are invaluable. Some of the most successful business owners I know were very socially oriented in H.S. and college.

Some kids had better elem/middle schooling which provided a better foundation for the AP coursework and the courses are not difficult for them. Others have to study harder to make up missed skills in order to be successful in AP courses (I see this in math a lot). Some may not even be intellectually qualified for the rigor of AP work but are in the classes anyway because they are being pushed to do so.

There is a movie "Race To Nowhere" I saw last year that examines this issue. I started a thread about it on this forum....

Just saw Race To Nowhere film....

Might be helpful for you to see the film.

p.s. Just saw that this film is still being screened all over the U.S. Click on your state to find a theater in your area...

http://www.racetonowhere.com/screenings

Last edited by GoCUBS1; 09-29-2011 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,707,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themanwithnoname View Post
Some people (Such as myself) Function more efficiently under a heavier load.

I know it sounds odd, but I have been getting done more rapidly with 19 Hour terms than my current 15 hours... because I know how much I have to do and knock it out quicker.
That was my daughter.

In high school, she did the things the OP mentioned, plus was in marching band, and went to nationals twice for debate.
AND she had a very active social life that included volunteering.

In college, she took over 16 credits all eight of her semesters, because there were things she wanted to learn.
One semester, she took 22 credits. We thought she was nuts, but she did extremely well. And that was with extracurriculars, working a part-time job and an engineering major.
She had an active social life too.

Some people function well at that level!
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:01 AM
 
Location: DFW
6,717 posts, read 11,166,301 times
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In general:

1) Think of every possible career path out there and make note of the ones that are at least moderately interesting to you. Don't think too narrowly, just research fields like Engineering, Finance, Science, Economics, etc. Pick one you deem would have the best future in the coming years. You definitely should see a counselor for this one and do some research.

You're not picking your life path at this point but it's helpful to at least have a sense of a medium term career goal. Don't worry if it doesn't work out in a few years; you should still end up with some transferable skills if you change your mind.

2) Take the most difficult courses offered (IB or AP usually) and learn as much as you can from them. However, don't overstress about getting perfect scores in everything (i.e. you got 95 instead of 100 on that test - Great!) If you can't take hard classes in everything, then at least take hard classes pertaining to the field you picked in #1.

3) Don't do extracurriculars for the sake of extracurriculars. Find volunteer work in the area you picked in #1. Not only will it boost your college apps but you'll also have some fun and possibly have an internship opportunity when you come back in the summer during college.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Central Mass
1,658 posts, read 2,225,815 times
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There is a saying in my field: the kids that got A's in school work for the kids that got C's.

The meaning: everyone in my field is smart, or they wouldn't have grad school degrees from top tier schools. You then had people who got A's in a very hard field of study : meaning they pushed for perfection. They continue to push for perfection in their work too.
You also had people who got B's and C's : meaning they did an adequate job but didn't push hard. These are the people who balance lots of things.
The perfection people take the time to get everything perfect and dive into the details
The other people work enough, get noticed for getting things done on time and under budget and advance while the perfection people take extra time and blow budgets getting things perfect.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:38 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,363,417 times
Reputation: 10471
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzii View Post
I spend a lot of time on a website that's is sort of like this but purely for high school and college related posts. I see posts saying that as a sophomore some people are taking AP bio, AP calculus, AP gov etc ( which I don't even know how it's possible) and then in addition to taking 6 AP classes they're self studying 3 extra AP classes ( refering to all high schoolers now), in 12 extra curricular clubs and upset because they scored a 2250 on the SAT and because they're pulling a 3.89 overall GPA.

Now maybe because I am a teenager I see this unreasonable but what do you all think. I feel like if I was to enroll myself and put that much on my plate I would crazy. As a teen I feel like it's important to have a social life. Now I don't go out partying every weekend but I like to have people over, I go out to the movies, take trips to the city and ocassionally I do go to a party. How can anyone with this much of a workload have any sort of non academic life? I know I'm in AP history and sometimes I get 3 hours of homework on top of homework for my other 8 classes.

Opinions/ thoughts? Am I really that off and out of touch with reality or am I sort of right?
They are exaggerating, period. First, there just aren't that many AP classes to take that they could take 9 AP classes 9-12th grades--there are only 32 offered through the AP program to begin with. Second, there are required courses that most schools have that do not have an AP equivalent, like band or choir, algebra, geometry, etc. Third, there are not enough hours in the day to do everything they say. AP Courses - Advanced Placement Course Descriptions

Kids in our school, on average for the serious college bound students (so the top 30 or 40% of the kids) take 3-5 AP classes each year 10-12th grade. We have 7 class periods/day. Junior and senior year some of those AP classes are actually college level classes taught by college professors either in our school or on college campuses around the area. It isn't unusual for college bound kids to graduate from our high school with enough credits to put them at a sophomore standing (and sometimes even a junior standing if they do all post-secondary classes junior senior year). These kids are also typically in a couple sports, music of some kind (band or choir) and do some volunteer work around the community. This keeps them PLENTY busy.

Our kids are juniors this year. Our DD is taking AP Lang/Comp, AP Chemistry, AP World History, honors Pre-Calculus, band, a PE class, and Spanish IV. Our son is taking all the same except taking AP European History vs the world. They are in marching band, jazz band, DS is trying out for a play this winter and they play golf in the spring. They volunteer at our church teaching religious ed classes and some service projects once in a while like raking leaves for the elderly. Add in some time on weekends with friends and this is all the time they have to do anything. There is no way they could add 5 more AP classes AND the HOMEWORK to go with them and sleep, ever.
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