In the midst of a Calculus lecture, you might wonder if you will ever use the graph of the derivative in real life. Certainly some content can be used in college, but communicating with some recent CHS graduates reveals they have learned great lessons from their high school experience.
2012 graduate Iljin Cho, currently a pre-med major at U.C. Berkeley, learned to write inductive essays in Mike Palshaw’s AP Language and Composition class, and he says he has not written a deductive essay this year. He also finds that Mike Guardino’s AP Chemistry class prepared him well for his college chemistry courses
“I literally studied eight hours a day for four days for my organic chemistry midterm,” Cho says. “It’s good to learn how to perform under pressure.”
Marcus Lund, a freshman at BrighamYoungUniversity in Utah shares Cho’s thoughts about APLAC and Guardino’s science classes. Lund says he barely attended his Physical Science 100 class and still managed to get a high A, thanks to his sophomore Honors Physics course.
On the flip side, a class that challenged Lund this year was General Education Economics, which he says is much more difficult than the economics taught in AP Government and Politics.
“Although AP World and GoPo are ‘college equivalent’ courses,” Lund warns, “the test questions, even on the AP exam, are way easier than actual college exams. You really have to know the material to do well.”
Bill Schrier’s test-taking tips helped Lund narrow down answers on multiple-choice economic exams, which have answer choices A-J, which Lund says could all be correct.
Many CHS grads agree that APLAC was one of the most important classes they took at CHS. U.C. Santa Barbara freshman Declan Harris, who was in Barbara Steinberg’s APLAC class, says he noticed his writing is better than that of his classmates, whom he finds very accomplished.
“When your grade is based on two papers, two midterms and a final,” Lund says, “doing well on those two papers really makes a huge difference.”
Overall, graduates attribute AP classes to helping them develop study skills and discipline necessary for college courses.
2012 Carmel High graduates Sierra Robinson and Sydnie Storer express that taking a variety of AP classes helped them develop study skills necessary for the transition from high school to college.
“I came to Arizona State University prepared for my classes and workload,” Storer says, “and even more adept in certain classes than students who hadn’t experienced AP classes.”
When it comes to regrets, Harris wishes he had taken more AP classes, while Cho wishes he had taken fewer. Storer would enjoy every moment with her family and friends if she could go back. Robinson says she would study harder for AP tests because having extra units has made a difference in her college experience.
Cal Poly freshman Melanie Ingram notes that she would ask the teachers more about their life experiences, while Cornell freshman Conrad Hain says he would go out of his comfort zone and interact with students outside his immediate social circle.
Lund wishes he had enjoyed Carmel more before leaving.
“Many students get sick of the fog and small-town atmosphere,” Lund explains. “Sure, Utah has beautiful Rocky Mountains, but nothing beats the Pacific Ocean.”
While some seniors may be experiencing “senioritis” and be thrilled about leaving high school behind, Storer stresses the importance of not growing up too fast: “As much as you want to get out,” she says, “cherish every moment because you’ll never get it back.”