The Battle Between the “Correct” Pathways

With students under the impression that AP courses alone will guide the way to college, there is much to unlearn and much to learn.


Students enjoying themselves as they create code and play.

Sienna Villalobos, Staff Writer

With students driving towards their final year of high school, college appears to be students’ number one destination. However, on the road to college, many students get lost on the way and crash when it comes to applications. Students are often given the wrong sense of direction on this journey, which ends up costing them a hefty amount in student loans and disappointment. However, there is a way to preclude much of this from ever occurring.

Colleges want you to be well-balanced and prepared. While AP classes look fantastic and can possibly earn you college credit early on, AP classes aren’t the only courses you should consider taking. It is absolutely imperative that you involve yourself in the school one way or another, whether that be from drama, soccer, color guard, key club, or anything else. By taking several extracurriculars or electives, you stand out from the crowd. “Both are beneficial because extracurricular courses give you more experiences, look good on your records, and just get you more involved. You meet new people and build up social experience. AP classes, on the other hand, give students who need a challenge. Normal classes may be too slow for an AP student’s pace. It’ll meet their needs academically,” explains Gabby Trevino, a lively student at Montclair. If you manage to get high marks whilst involving yourself, the road to college is much, much simpler. 

Even then, if college isn’t your end goal, you should still take extracurriculars and electives. You immerse yourself in more opportunities, and can even find yourself a passion. If you lack the motivation, extracurriculars can allow you to, once again, have a driving positive force in your life. With the memories that you have the possibility of creating, who wouldn’t want to go out and try something new?

AP classes are still immensely beneficial, as they challenge you and can prepare you for the hardships college is ready to dish out, but they aren’t the most significant factor in your high school career. “I take robotics, which would help if I were to take a computer science major or engineering major. I still plan to take AP courses since they challenge me. It’s better to learn more material than to sit around bored in all your classes,” says Arden Zeng, a challenge seeking student. Try your hardest to get out there and explore what your high school has to offer.