Smoke Signals

It’s Not the Class. It’s Me.

Courtesy of We Heart It

Courtesy of We Heart It

Barbara Lopez, Entertainment Editor

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Attention to all incoming freshman and sophomores, and anyone else who has stumbled upon this final article. I need you to ask yourself one question: “What do I love to do?”

  Once you have answered this question, begin doing what you love. If you feel like you are struggling to answer this question, begin trying new things until you find something you do not hate. Or, you know, something you love.

  For me, senior year can be summed up in four words: harder than I thought. Being my last year in high school—and considering the fact I hardly had extracurriculars—I decided to take three AP classes, even though I had only taken one my entire high school career.

  So I went from taking AP Language to taking AP Literature, AP Government and Politics, and AP Macroeconomics. And I still had French 3, Art 1 (yes, we do have homework), and Advanced Journalism.

  For those of you currently taking five APs, I already hear you in my head: “Wow! So you took an easy year? No math or science? Lucky duck!” Yeah, no. Not my smartest move. I figured, “Hey! Why not? Three Advanced Placement classes by far should make up for the fact that I haven’t really done much my first three years of high school. Right?” Wrong.

  If I am being completely honest, I am not big on studying. Unless the topics concern geography, English, history, or French, chances are I do not care enough to fully commit to the laborious act of studying.

  Instead of embracing my weekends and relaxing on my time off, I spent just about every one of them doing homework and attempting to study content I do no truly enjoy. And do not get me wrong: my teachers are lovely, and of course, I am aware of the fact that APs are a lot of work.

  However, I am not very passionate about Government or Economics. Why did I take these courses, you may ask? Well, I thought I would be. I thought I would enjoy finding out how the economy works or delving into the complexity of the United States government. And although it has been quite interesting, I have found that I suck at Econ and that Government tests are a lot harder than they seem (no matter how many Quizlets you make).

  The point is regardless of the difficulty, I should not have taken classes I was not truly committed to. AP classes are beneficial, yes, but they should not be taken for the sole purpose of decorating your schedule. They take lots of work and commitment, which I did have to a certain extent, but not to the fullest. And as much as I would like to go back in time and change my schedule, there is one class I will never regret taking: Art 1.

  I took the class because, well, I have always loved art and its many forms (photography, cinema, writing, literature). I assumed it would be a decent class with stressful deadlines to finish projects. But the deadlines actually were not stressful, because once I started I could not stop.

  The simple skills I have learned will take me a long way, and I plan on continuing art as a side hobby after I graduate. Using mediums such as painting, pastel, graphite, and watercolor have truly helped me develop a beginner’s skill for art, which I plan on mastering as I continue to draw and create throughout my life.

  All homework I have had becomes insignificant as soon as I bring home my paint palette and wooden board. Once I pick up the paintbrush, I cannot seem to put it down; I tend to paint for hours on end. And apart from allowing my creativity to flow freely, art becomes therapeutic. I get lost in drawing and bringing life to whatever my mind desires.

  So moral of the story: do what makes you happy. If you find passion in AP Chemistry or Biology or Calculus (or Gov and Econ), then, by all means, take those classes and continue to pursue those subjects. But if you think about taking APs classes “just because,” think again. An entire school year is a long time. You might as well spend it being productive instead of doing work you do not actually want to do.

 

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Barbara Lopez, Entertainment Editor

Barbara Lopez is a senior at West and is the Entertainment Editor for Smoke Signals. She enjoys film, music, and making new friends.

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It’s Not the Class. It’s Me.