Choosing High School Classes
Jordan shares her insider perspectives on how to find the right high school classes for you in order to craft your best college applications.
2021-07-08 Choosing High School Classes
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s, webinar and Choosing High School Classes. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists. Hi, my name is Jordan Williams. I am. And upcoming first year student in graduate school at UNC G, but I actually got my undergrad at Ilan university, graduated in the class of 2020, and I majored in English with concentrations in literature and creative writing. So that’s a little bit about me.
So when I first started high school, I was super anxious. Like I was so anxious that sometime in early February, I found like a hive on my elbow. And by the time school started that outcoming [00:01:00] August, I was broken out in hives, like all over the place. It was awful. I had an epi pen. Apparently I’m allergic to stress is what that experience taught me.
Um, I heard that high school was like a mean place. And as a nerdy girl, going to a big school, I was just terrified. It was not going to go well, but I was wrong. It was, it was literally not, not that bad. Like high school was great. I made friends, I adopted. Lots of classes that I loved and it gave me access to people and activities that I loved even more so, despite all of the hype, I gave myself maybe too much hype, it turned out to be a really worthwhile experience.
So if you’re not in high school yet you got things to look forward to. It’s not, it’s not too scary. So there are lots of different classes that you can take in high school. Um, they’re not like your traditional classes, which are not like honors or AP or IB or anything. It’s just like I took choir for a year and it was just choir.
That’s how it showed up on my schedule. Um, they’re not weighted any differently. They’re weighted on a regular 4.0. There’s [00:02:00] also honors classes, which cover the same content as like a more traditional course, but they’re taught at a level for higher achieving students. So if you want a class that might be a little bit harder than an honors class is usually a good avenue.
They’re also AP classes and those classes are more like college level classes. So you have similar content, like a college class, and students are held to the same academic standard as a college level course. So you’ll have tests at the end that are like a big overall year, long course tests that you take, um, separate from your regular end of year exams.
And then you get a score and that’s how you get your college. So AP is a little bit different than honors classes and different from traditional classes in that way. They’re also IB classes, which again are like those college level courses, but they are part of a different program entirely. And so Ivy classes are a little bit more writing intensive.
There are extra things you have to do in order to get into separate IB diploma is what [00:03:00] it’s called. You also need a certain amount of volunteer hours and you write a very large 4,000 word essay at the end of your IB experience. You get a certain amount of points. If you get enough points, you get your diploma.
I could go on and on. I was an IB diploma student, so I took a lot of AP and IB classes. So do you have any ID questions? This is the, this is the check to do it in. Um, but that’s also an option for students and there’s also dual enrollment classes and dual enrollment classes are literally college classes that you can sometimes take even with college students, but you’re enrolled at high school.
So if you’re high school partners with a nearby college, you might be able to take some deliverable. The cool thing about dual enrollment is number one. You’re getting that college experience in a way that other students aren’t. If they take AP or IB classes, AP IB, you’re still with your high school classmates, you’re still in that classroom setting in college.
There’s a good chance that you will have college aged classmates. And at the end of dual enrollment classes, you don’t have to take a special. So AP and [00:04:00] IB classes again, have that big test at the end of the year, that covers everything that you’ve covered. And it’s separate from the test you might take within the classroom and those classes.
And that test will tell you if you get any. College credit at the end. However, if you have those dual enrollment classes, if you take the class and pass the class, you get the credit. There’s no special exam that you have to take at the end. So it’s a lot more straightforward necessarily than an AP or IB class.
Not all schools offer dual enrollment classes. In fact, my high school did not offer dual enrollment classes. So it kind of depends on where you are, but if it is available at your school, that’s a great chance to go ahead and take those college level courses. If that’s something you think you’re prepared.
So when you’re deciding your college classes, how do you go about what that feels like? I always suggest taking into account what you’re comfortable with as a student, what your history has shown as a student up to this point, as well as your extracurriculars and of course your mental health. So [00:05:00] if you’re like, I’m a great student, but I also play six sports.
Maybe I shouldn’t go ahead and take six IB classes or six AP classes. Maybe it’s best if. Three or if you were like, I’m really great at Spanish, maybe I should take AP Spanish, but I’m not super great at Cal. So really think about if you want to take those AP level classes based on your workload, as well as your mental health.
It’s also important to take into account. What kind of college you want to go to? Um, those AP IB dual enrollment classes tend to be weighted a little bit differently than. Your more traditional courses. And so it’s possible to graduate with like above a 4.0, if you’re taking those AP or IB classes. And that means if you want to go to a school, that’s like an Ivy league institution, for example, like a Harvard or Yale, or even like a duke it’s useful to take more of those AP IB classes, because it shows scholars from the jump that you are able to hang in a college level setting.
You’re able to take those college level courses and not only take them, but. So if that’s the kind of school you’re interested in going [00:06:00] to definitely look into taking more of those AP, those IB level classes, and of course take classes that you’re interested in. It doesn’t make sense to take a bunch of math classes.
If you have no interest in going into math and you struggle at math, I was not great at math. I was a double English major. Like I had my skills. I knew that, um, I wouldn’t take AP calculus. Because that might hurt my GPA in the long run. And so it’s important to show that you can take these harder classes.
They show that you are a student who’s willing to push a little further work a little bit harder, but at the end of the day, if you, if you like get a C in an AP class, it might’ve been better to take the honors course and get a B or even an a, because you were able to show like, Hey, like I can discern, what’s hard for me, but also.
I’m willing to push myself in subjects that are worthwhile to push in. If that will help me further. So it’s up to you. Take all those things into account when deciding you don’t want to burn yourself out halfway through your junior year. Just keep that in mind. [00:07:00] So in college admissions are some classes more closely looked at than others.
Yes and no. As previously mentioned, the amount of workload that you have really depends on the class that you’re taking. Again, those IB level classes have a lot of writing homework. You spend a lot of hours, a lot of nights out writing essays and writing papers. It’s going to look a little bit different than your honors class.
So it’s going to be weighted a little bit differently than your honors level. But if your school doesn’t offer that it’s not the end of the world. And a lot of colleges do acknowledge that not every school has the same resources as other schools. So not the end of the world, if it’s not an option, but if they offer harder classes, your colleges will look and see if you’re willing to push yourself and take those harder level classes.
They’re not only looking to see how well you did, but they’re looking to see if you’re willing to push yourself in the longterm. So if you’re like, this is going to be a stretch for me, it’s going to be hard, but I’m willing to take that. And you do well. Excellent. If you’re like, I’m [00:08:00] really bad at Spanish, but I want to show that I’ll take AP Spanish and then you get a D maybe that wasn’t your best move.
So it really balanced out between what you are willing to take on and what, you know, you can take on with what your actual skills are. Nope. Mascot’s done. So how can a student find a level of challenge? That’s right. For them, of course, you can ask your high school level, your high school counselor, and you, can you look together and say like, oh, this is what my GPA is right now, or this is the workload I had coming in from middle school.
This is what I’m ready for now. And they can help you decide what classes might be good for you. You can also ask a teacher if you’ve had one for a little while, if you’re sophomore, junior, senior level. You can also just reflect on yourself and acknowledge how hard you, how hard you’re willing to work and how hard you’re willing to push yourself and move accordingly.
One of my best friends just doesn’t like to do. It is just like, why do I need to do it? If I’m in class, it won’t be like him, not a great plan, [00:09:00] but for him, he’s like, I shouldn’t take a bunch of AP IB classes because they are really like outside of the classroom intensive courses. So he was willing to take into account what he knew about himself and how he was as a student and move accordingly.
Granted, he also wasn’t shooting for Ivy level schools. Again, if that’s you, I mean, don’t be like him anyway, but definitely don’t be like him.
So, how do you balance getting good grades and taking challenging classes? The goal is that you want to push yourself. You want to show that you’re willing to take on that little, extra bit of challenge, but you don’t want to burn yourself out. So I know a lot of students to took a couple of AP classes sophomore year.
And this is not how it felt adjusted to the workload and added classes as they went. And so by senior year, almost all of your classes were AP level courses, but they didn’t start off that way sophomore year, because that’s a big bite to do right at the beginning. So it’s easier to kind of like ease your way into it over time.
It’s also helpful to [00:10:00] form a relationship with your teachers. A lot of teachers are like, Hey, you’re a high school student taking college level classes. And that can be really, really hard. So. They will offer tutoring sessions. They will get you in contact with different resources. If you need to, whatever it takes to help you succeed.
A lot of teachers are willing to help you in that journey. If you form a relationship with. So your best in your glasses form, relationship with your teachers and recognize when you’re starting to burn out. Like if you’re having, like every night is a late night and every night you’re tired. Maybe you don’t need to start adding on more AP classes.
Maybe you’re at your limit. Inversely. If you’re like this whole thing is a cakewalk. Maybe it’s time to look for classes that are a little bit harder that do show a little bit more challenge.
Okay, so now we’re going to
bring this ball. And I was an IB kid, too. I just graduated class of 2020.[00:11:00]
Did you get the diploma? I did. Same. It was tough though. I say is no joke. I got a D on it at all thought I did. Okay. But I sorta started 11th grade. Like I started off so strong and then life happened and I didn’t finish until like two months after it was tough team. It happens though.
I’m gonna close the poll, but, um, we have zero eighth graders, 14 ninth graders, 10th graders, 16, 11th graders, one 12th grader and two other, but I’m not sure what other mean, maybe parents. Uh, okay, so now back to the, um, presentation. And our poll, good to know who we have in our audience. And on that note, what changes during [00:12:00] your sophomore, junior and senior year at that will affect the classes that you choose.
So, first of all, your interests might change. When I came to high school, I was like, science is fun, but I wasn’t Hooper interested in science. By the time I was a senior, I was taking. Um, IB biology on like the advanced level. So I loved science by the end. I didn’t go in that way, but as I changed my class load changed as well.
As well as joining any academic programs, for example, the IB program, technically start your junior year. You can go to an IB elementary school and they’ll prep you all the way up to senior junior year. But at the end of the day, the program starts junior year. And that’s when your workload is going to start your shifts.
But before that, I was taking mostly AP classes and honors classes. Junior year, I started taking all those IB classes and that also kind of shaped what I was interested. As well as your grades and how you feel in the classroom. If, as you go, you’ll figure out what’s too hard. What’s too easy. What classes are just, right?
So if you’re a super strong writer, [00:13:00] AP IB classes are a great way to go. If you’re not quite a great writer, or if you’re math more math oriented, it might be good to look into some dual enrollment classes. You can take some things that are more geared towards your interests and your skills. If you were like me and just like to do choir, I just took all the choir classes they had available.
It went up to honors choir. That’s what I took, had a great time. So you’ll see, as you go, like what your mental health can handle, what your workload can handle, what your grades are, reflecting, what you’re interested in. As you go about. Um, but again, mostly in that junior, senior year is when students start to take a lot of those AP IB classes, just cause at that point, you’re not adjusting to high school anymore.
You’re already adjusted to high school. You kind of know what the workload looks like and now, you know what you can push yourself to do in relation to your extracurriculars as well.
So what was exciting and satisfying about my academic journey in high school? I love that I was able to make friends. So I’ve always been like a huge nerd. Like I used to wear like super [00:14:00] thick glasses, like kind of like my lenses kinda like jetted out my frames a little bit. It was, it was tough. You know, it was a tough time for the team.
And so as like the really nerdy girl, I was nervous about making friends who are also really into learning like me and I did. I actually had a whole little program, a little cohort of people who were also really interested in just doing their best and being involved in the classroom and learning and growing as we got older.
So it was nice to be surrounded by so many people like that. I still have friends like that. We still talk all the time, even though we’ve graduated from college now we’ve got girls side every Friday, I was able to build a really strong community that was able to help me go in. So that was really nice.
Um, I also joined some clubs outside of my academics that were also so far academically inclined. Some were not, um, like I started an acapella club, which gave me some cool leadership skills, but I also, you know, So that nerd girl thing to the next level. And I did this program called battle of the books where if you’re from North Carolina, you read a lot and then answer [00:15:00] questions about the books that you read.
And I did that literally from fifth grade until senior year in high school. So I was able to continue doing battle of the books and. Reading and writing, which I love while also investigating some other passions. I did quiz bowl for like a semester. Um, but most of all, I got to read a lot, which sounds really nerdy, but again, as an English major and as an IB student, I got to read a lot of books that my peers didn’t get to read.
And so all my friends of course talk about like all the Shakespeare books that we had, all the Shakespeare plays that we had to read in high school. And I got to read a different set of Shakespeare plays. Like we still had to read them, but like, I got to read something different than just the norm because of the classes I was able to take.
And so everybody was like, oh, I love tablet. I didn’t read Hamlet until senior year in college because I read it to loafers. And they were like, I’ve never met a fellow. And it was really cool to like, be able to have that experience being like, can we read Romeo Juliet? Of course I can tell you about a phyllo when everybody else can tell you about Hamlet.
This is really fun for me. Or like I had a friend the other day make [00:16:00] a joke about this. It was a great book, but like we were too young to really appreciate it at the time. And like, we’re still making jokes about like, it was called love at the time of cholera. We’re still making jokes about it, but it’s still funny.
So any advice I would give to students who are starting high school, who want to find the best classes, I would suggest taking classes that are, again, three things. Number one, good for your college acceptance goals. So again, depending on what kind of school you want to go to, and the academic intensity of that school, you’re going to want to take classes that are more aligned with those goals.
So again, if you’re looking for duke power, Harvard, Yale schools like that, you’re going to want to take classes that are more. Challenging academically to show that you can hang out in environments that are more geared towards pushing you into. That’s why I want to take classes that are good for your college and career goals.
My whole life I’ve been writing, I’ve been reading and writing and writing and reading forever. Being an English major was not shocking to anybody, [00:17:00] but I knew as a freshman in high school, I love to write, I need to take classes that will help me be a better writer. And that’s how I chose to join the ibuprofen.
Because it was like AP classes are great and they are, I love my AP classes, but I knew that as a writer who needed to write, I need to be in writing intensive program. And that helped me too. And number three, take classes that are fun for you. Um, a lot of people get caught up in like keeping their GPA up.
Do that and taking classes that are going to look good on their resume, which like also important, but they do so much of that. They forget to take classes that also make them happy. And so I always made sure that no matter what else I was taking, I would always have a slot to take choir. And that, that was like that one solace that I had when I was, when I had this class and to do in this class.
And I was all stressed out. I had an hour in a day where I could just go and sing and learn. Old sheet music and just have a great time before I went back to, you know, reading and writing and writing and reading. So do your best for [00:18:00] yourself, do your best for your goals, but also like make sure you have time to like, have fun and see other people.
Okay. Um, I just want to show him my own book for, I still have all my IB volts, but as I laid dying wasn’t, as I laid crying. So hypey is a code, honestly, it’s just, it never goes away. It’s just always with you. And then the one thing with like the GPA’s and stuff. Did your school do white where you get the extra 10 points?
Yeah. Yeah, my GPA was, I had like a five points. Why is your GPA so high? And I was like, don’t worry about it. I bags. I earned that. Okay. So that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts.
Moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through the questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, [00:19:00] paste them in the public chats that you can see them and then read them out loud before our panelists gives you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page or else you won’t be able to send it in questions.
Uh, so, okay. So the first question is can you take dual enrollment classes and, um, What was the other question? Sorry, can you take dual enrollment classes the last year of school? Yes, you can. As long as you’re enrolled in the fall, you’re all set to take classes in the fall. So absolutely a lot of people will take them their senior year when like there might be a little looser, they might have more time or they might’ve just like, feel comfortable in taking those classes at that point.
So, absolutely. Uh, this is a little bit IB specific, but in IB, do they not focus as much on the IB learner profile? I don’t really focus. You’re okay. They don’t [00:20:00] honestly like vaguely loose, like physically remember what that is. They will not make a break. You was just archetypes. They were just trying to boost the program.
It wasn’t that the that’s not the important part is taking only two APS. Junior year are bad, even though it’s upping my workload and I have extracurriculars. Absolutely not. I think that it’s important to take as many as you can, but if your max is two that’s okay, because it shows that you’re willing to push yourself up to what, you know, you can handle, especially if you have other extracurriculars and things that make you that well-rounded.
So colleges are looking for a force students who love to learn and do well in the classroom, but we are shifting more and more to looking at students who are well-rounded both in and out of the classroom. So like, yeah, they took AP classes, but like, what did they do in their spare time? Did they volunteer?
Did they play a sport? Why are they like as a human being in addition to their class load? So, no, it is not bad to just take two. [00:21:00] Uh, this is a little bit too, but what is the best selection of courses for an incoming freshmen student athlete? Um, I think of course your freshman year, especially as an athlete would tend to be more honors and traditional classes.
I don’t think I was taking any AP. Classes my freshman year, first year, first year in high school, you really want to figure out like, number one, this is high school and this is what high school looks like. And this is how high school is different from middle school. Number two, what does the workload look like?
And what does it look like in relation to what I already do? And so a lot of students don’t start taking those AP IB classes. I mean, IB until junior year, but students don’t really start taking those AP classes until sophomore year, just to figure it out. What the workload is and how to, how to really maneuver that field.
So I would suggest more traditional and honors classes for sure. Uh, Uh, I’m [00:22:00] going to be a sophomore in the upcoming school year. My goal is to go to the Naval academy and become a member Marine officer. I am in Cambridge. I don’t a I C E program. And what co what classes would you recommend that I take?
Um, it sounds like you’ve got a pretty solid, I guess, career path in mind, so that’s pretty helpful. I would just. Honors and AP classes. Um, it sounds like I have a pretty, you would probably have a relatively intense workload outside of the classroom. And so make sure you have time to do both what’s in your program as well as what you need to do academically.
I would suggest mostly honors classes, but a few APS, if you can, like. AP world, for example. So I’ll just sit like a hist, like one or two history classes just to really get my feet wet and figure out like, this is what AP looks like, and this is how it relates to all my other things that I do outside of the classroom.
Um, and especially as you have, what sounds like more to do outside of the classroom? I [00:23:00] had, I would take AP classes, but I would make it more honors, heavy person. I think we’ll get through two more and then we’ll do a pop-up and then we’ll go back to the Q and a, but, um, what grades do you have in order to join AP IB class?
Um, no IB. It has to be junior and senior year because that’s how the IB program works. Um, AP classes you can take in theory, you could take as early as your first year, but people really don’t really start taking those until your sophomore year. So at least sophomore year, but mostly that junior, senior year.
okay. Uh, if there is, if there’s two different classes, we’re really invested in, but there’s only one available slot in our schedule. How should we decide between. Yeah. So I would start by thinking, how would this impact [00:24:00] my GPA? Um, or how will this reflect on me as a student? And so I always suggest taking the more difficult of the two, if you feel like you can hang, because it shows that you’re willing to take that more challenging steps.
So I always encourage students to push themselves a little harder than they might think. So next, I will suggest what you can handle with your workload in and out of the class. If this is like your seventh AP class, as opposed to like honors choir again, make sure you’re leaving space for things that like, make you really happy in addition to things that like push you academically.
Um, then in third, honestly, that’s one and two.
Okay. Um, let me send this offer real quick. Okay. Once I work one-on-one with an advisor from our team of over 155 advisors and admissions office. Sign up for free for a free consultation with us, by going to college [00:25:00] advisor.com and clicking the green chat button in the bottom, right of the screen from there, just write consultation and, and a live team member will get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us.
Now, back to the Q and a.
Sorry. I said, uh, okay. Back to the queue. Okay. Um,
I saw a lot of questions about the military. I was surprised, uh, I’m interested in computer science. It is required for me to take computer science course and not AP literature. I’m not sure that wasn’t a question. I’m sorry. Or I’m not sure if that’s good in computer science, is it required for me to take a computer course?[00:26:00]
Um, honestly, to your school and the rules that you were in the classes you need in order to be able to graduate. Um, most people, most schools do make you take an English all four years. So it’s likely that, like, you wouldn’t have to take AP literature, but you’re going to have to take something reading and writing base.
If that fills up that computer science lot, you have to take that over computer science. So it doesn’t have to be AP literature, but you might have to take an English and you should double check on that. Before going forward. Uh, one question from our pre panel. Um, okay. What classes will help me stand out to colleges?
Yeah. So again, those AP IB classes really help you stand out. Um, dual enrollment, if you have, it helps stand out the most because not everybody has it. And even if your school offers it, not, everybody’s willing to go through the steps of registering at a note, a whole different school, and then taking classes possibly at [00:27:00] a different school with different people.
It really, we noticed when you take dual enrollment classes, national course of those AP and IB courses. There are college level classes. They really do push students to succeed the best that they can, um, anything in those veins. So not you just keep pushing AP IB, but I’m once again, pushing API.
This is also from the pre panel, but I w I want to take some classes I’m interested in, but I don’t want my persons on my college application to look to random. Any thoughts? Um, I think that there’s a balance between random classes and being a well-rounded student. And so, as long as it’s not like, I mean, you can take whatever you want, but if it’s like, oh, I’m interested in like ballet and also choir and also astrology or astronomy and also calculus and also British literature like that.
It’s more likely to [00:28:00] show that you were interested in multiple subjects as opposed to just being. A random group of classes that I kind of threw out a board and went to see what stuff it is good to get some consistency. And honestly, the best way to do that is to keep taking similar classes. Like you’re going to take CA uh, if you’re gonna take like astronomy and ballet and choir, it’s good to show.
Like I took ballet 1, 2, 3. I took astronomy one, two. Okay. Quieter 1, 2, 3, and that just shows it’s less random. And these were a bunch of my interests that might look random if that makes any sense. Um, okay. This is good question. Um, more so about like grades, let me see. Okay. So, what do I do if I really want to be good in math, but my grades say otherwise or differently, [00:29:00] um, make that relationship with your teacher and go to as much tutoring as you can.
Like I want, I want it in college to be a great math student. I was like, I’ll add to, it was take one math class. I’m going to crush it. I did not form that relationship with my professor and I did not express my needs. So the first time I took calculus, I got. And it was tough for the team, you know, like I wasn’t a straight a student up until that point.
I was like, what just happened? So when I went back and took it again, I was like, okay. So at the end of the day, I can, I can aspire to be good at math. All I want to, I’m going to have to work harder than my classmates. So I need to take the initiative and go ahead and form those relationships. Next time I took it, I got an a minus.
So I would definitely suggest, cause math is hard. And I hear you. And I see ya, go ahead and like establishing that relationship with your professor, with your teacher so that you can say like, Hey friend, I heard you at the front of the room. I set my notes. It’s like reading Greek, please help me. And they can help you from there.[00:30:00]
Uh, and then a few time managed it in a second, but I want to go into pre-med does calculus matter? And then another person asks what are the best courses for students into interested in medicine? So anything science related, just go to, if you’re interested in medicine, um, it’s more important to take a math than necessarily calculus, but calculus does help in the long run in terms of.
Being in a science field, especially like a medical field. So take calculus. Um, it’s, it’s hard. I’m not even going to hold you. It was hard for me and I was great at pre-calc. Um, but it will help longterm. And then any science classes, specifically more the biology, chemistry type of classes, um, environmental science, astronomy is cool and great with numbers.
And I took two astronomy classes in college, but I recognize they will not help me much with the humidity.
Going on. [00:31:00] That depends on what school you’re applying to too. Cause calculus like Georgia tech, you’re required to have taken a calculus class or else you could get waitlisted. So it really just depends on the school more so than the program. Sometimes the next question, if your high school doesn’t offer IB and dual enrollment, does that matter to more academically challenged?
Um, it does matter because those will be the caliber of the other people applying. But if you can show that you’re willing to push yourself to spend what your school offers, because at the end of the day, it’s not your fault that your school doesn’t offer these things. If you consistently take the hardest level classes that you can, and maybe take classes outside of just what you can find in the classroom, like maybe take an online course, surely an initiative that you’re like this school does not offer these things, but this is what I’m willing to do to fill in that gap.
It’ll help lot. So it’s not your fault and there’s nothing you can do about it, but this is how you can really bridge that gap. When applying to schools where other students who do take a lot of AP IB, [00:32:00] dual enrollment classes will apply to as well. Another good thing about the admissions process as they look at what your school offers.
So they look at what other students from your school specifically took and whatever, the highest courses they were taking as good. I may have to like what Cornell, you may have to take like a pre-freshman program. So again, the school as well. Sorry, a question on time management, how do I manage all honors classes and being a student athlete?
There are a few other questions, but just balancing school and life in general. Yeah. It’s it’s hard. Um, and the beautiful thing about high school is it, it gives you that chance to really push on that time management. Um, the first time I ever color-coded and agenda was junior year in high school. Like that was when I was like, okay, if I don’t personally, I had to sit down and plot out, like as much time in may day, my day, step by step as possible.
Um, it got, this was in college, but it got so bad that at one point I was like penciling and like [00:33:00] laundry shower time. These are my eating times. So that. This is when I could do a, B, C, D E. This is how much time it took me to do each assignment. This is where this fits into my schedule. Um, you might not need to be that, that intense this early in the game, but it does help to say like, okay, there are 24 hours in a day, here are the eight they’re I’m going to sleep.
Do not slap on your sleep. If you can help it, sleep is critical yet that these are the times that I need to eat. This is when practices, this is ongoing to pencil my homework and around that. What other extracurriculars other extracurriculars do or do not. How can I make this work with my professors as well?
Um, additionally never procrastinate on your homework if you can help it, um, is it will go much further to start working on your essay two weeks in advance and still not finished and say, okay, I have three out of four paragraphs, but I was up until two o’clock last night and just passed out. As opposed to saying, Hey friends, I didn’t start this until last night.
I only have two paragraphs, but like I [00:34:00] have something it’s going to show better at the end of the day to put in that effort consistently over and over again, and just not finish as opposed to I didn’t start. So I didn’t finish. Uh, how many and what colleges were you accepted to? By senior year. I think all my classes except for choir where IB classes, I think that was six.
I want to say by senior year. Um, so I think six out of seven of my classes or IB classes. Um, same thing for, yeah, same thing for junior year. So six or seven. Um, my sophomore year, it was like two. And then the IB program kicked in. And so my class load also kicked in. Um, I was accepted to chapel hill on a full ride.
I was wait-listed at duke. Um, and I’ve gone to Elon university, but I didn’t apply much, [00:35:00] but I got in mostly where I applied. Next question affect you for college. And how many do you think I should take? Um, Yes, it is important to join clubs because again, it shows that you’re like a well-rounded student.
And so we love students, you know, grind academically day in and day out. But it’s also important to be a human being outside of the class. The number doesn’t matter as much as like the depth. And so when I was joining things in college, I had a professor say to me, it’s better to have two to three really big slices of pie, as opposed to 16 little itsy bitsy slices of pie.
And I was like, that’s a weird analogy. And then my senior year, I was like, I should pick things I’m passionate about and pour myself into those as opposed to picking up a bunch of like little resume fillers, because a resume fillers are the things that will burn you. Um, so I think I had to, I only did like two curriculars or two and a half in high school.
Like I did [00:36:00] battle of the books. I did acapella and I did, um, like this tour guide IB thing at the end of the day. Like I dabbled in Quizbowl I dabbled in some other stuff, but when I put my heart and soul into is what I wrote my college essay on. And I wrote a really strong essay. Like I liked my essay.
It was a good job. Um, And I was able to do that because I put so much energy into those few things that I cared a lot about. So more deeply than plentiful, take a few things you care about and go that way as opposed to picking up every single thing that sounds like it’s going to look good on paper. I ended up writing
my Kasparov. Love it.
I be, what
should I be worried about not being a great ahead in math when other classmates are, are, are, if I’m looking into going into statistics, economics. [00:37:00] Um, I don’t think you need to worry about being a grade ahead necessarily. I think you need to worry more about like, doing your absolute best when you are, because you’re not going to be the guy over there who was a grade ahead and that’s okay.
It just means you have to be able to put in the work to the best that you can right now. So I would not sweat what other people are up to. It just makes you great early. I would know. Uh, do we have a foreign language if we’re aiming for academically challenged, challenging classes or schools like the Ivy league, do LMU OSI, et cetera?
Yes. Um, I would definitely suggest taking a foreign language. Um, I know a lot of high schools actually require that you take at least two or three years of a foreign language, but it does go a long way in terms of. Applying to college. And there are also some programs in college that are going to want you to take a foreign language.
So there’s this thing. What is it called? Five ADA Sigma, maybe something like that. It’s like this [00:38:00] big, like academic program at top honors program at different colleges. And I wasn’t eligible because I was one semester off from dating. So it will help you. Forsythe wise to go ahead and take that foreign language and maybe stick with that foreign language for awhile outside of just like getting into college, but take it so you can also push up your chances of getting into the college you want to go to.
They put out two years, but my counselor told me that three to four years is good. If you want to go to a top school. Yeah. Uh, how important are volunteer hours and how many hours should I use? Um, I think volunteer hours are super important personally. Um, cause I love to volunteer, but also because it shows that you’re willing to also give back to your community.
So a lot of it is who is the student as a student. Some of it is how is this student going to do at this universal. At volunteer hours, a lot of really cool way to show like this is what I care [00:39:00] about as an individual, but this is how I want my individual like passions to influence the community and the world around me.
So I think they’re pretty important. Um, I know the IB program requires them for a similar reason. Um, I would shoot for, I don’t know. I want to say like as many as you can, but that’s kind of vague. I did, I think 20 or 30 a semester personally. But they’re also like if you do enough volunteer hours, you get like a whole extra cord at graduation.
Like it’s a whole thing. We love volunteering. So food is often as you can, but I ain’t like keep it right around at least that 20 to 30 hours a semester. I feel like
copy paste, copy paste, copy paste. Do you have any strategies to help me get, become a better test taker? I’m getting A’s and B’s in the cause, but I’m struggling on the test. Yeah. Um, I would start studying early [00:40:00] and then I would also know when to cut yourself off. Like I would study, like I would walk into the classroom.
I would still be studied. But at the end of the day, if you don’t know it up until about the night before, you just don’t know it and that’s okay, but like it’s better to put yourself to bed early, eat food that you’re not going to be hungry in the morning. Focus more on taking care of yourself the day of a test, as opposed to what else I can put my brain at that.
Also go to study sessions. What I like to do is I will rewrite all of my notes, um, just so I can get like that muscle brain memory clicking. I’ll just rewrite it, even if it’s already written down. And then if it’s something I’m really challenged, challenged with, I will like try to teach it to somebody else with like, Hey, I’m doing photosynthesis and bio.
Can I teach you photosynthesis? Do you have any questions at the end? So study buddies are super helpful. Um, in high school, in college, I was actually an RA, which is like the grownup that lives on your hall. And so I’d make my residents come and study with me so nights. And then when they needed to study, I would study with [00:41:00] them.
Um, it was a great way to like form community, but it was also the way to practice what I knew. And that’s how I knew that I knew whether or not, uh, this. What is the thing
it keeps going in and out, but it’s not super bad. Okay. Uh, I’m moving schools junior year. How does that affect my college admissions process? What are some advice, um, for building my college profile. So, um, keeping up with any clubs consistently that you can, even as you move is important, keeping up with your course load, even as you move is important.
So if you’re taking AP classes, Sophomore year, continue to take those junior years wherever you go, unless your school doesn’t have them, which like colleges will have that information. It can move accordingly. Um, it will, it won’t necessarily affect your college admissions process. If there’s not like [00:42:00] a drastic change in what you can take academically.
And even then colleges understand people move life happens, but consistency is usually the biggest thing. So I would just suggest being as consistent as possible. And so advice for building up your college application is again thinking about when you’re best in the classes, looking at the hardest level that you can and doing the best you can in those classes.
So way further than just, I took AP human geo and then I got a D in it, but I took, it gave me like very different. Uh, is it okay or skipping a year? I didn’t do it my sophomore year and now I want to join back in for my junior year. Um, for IB, that should be completely fine because your classes don’t really start until your junior year.
You haven’t actually missed anything. Um, if you took junior year off and wanted to join senior year, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be eligible for the diploma, but you can take the classes still. Um, [00:43:00] If you skipped AP classes sophomore year that’s okay. Just take them junior year. So you should be in the clear
imagine if they all four years I would be so tired. People would still wait till the last minute for the eight year. Absolutely. Oh, what our recommend, what our recommended study tips that you suggest like blast cards, writing stuff over and over, et cetera. Should we join a study? Should we join Stenberg?
Yeah. So I like flashcards when I’m studying vocabulary. So like my foreign language classes, me and flashcards best friends, because I could always check my vocabulary. And when I was learning tenses, it was a great way for me to like associate tenses. Um, when I’m studying math and more like stem classes, I will rewrite my notes over and over and over and over and over again.
It’ll even like write notes in the margins of. A notebook or in the textbook when the textbook is mine, [00:44:00] that’s where like the college thing I’m just like, and get like that visual association doubts. When I see it on the test, it doesn’t feel like it’s the first time I’ve seen it. Um, I would say join a study group if you learn well with others.
I like other people to test me on things, but I don’t like to study with people because people are too chatty for my brain. So I’m like, I don’t want to sit and talk to you. I want to, I want, I want to teach you this. And then I. That’s how I am. And I know that about myself. So study groups. Aren’t great for me.
If you like the atmosphere of being with other people, talking ideas out, study groups are a great way to go and I at to 10 recommend, but if you’re like me and don’t want to chit chat, don’t do it. Uh, what’s the typical number of APS college students take throughout their high school career. Um, it kind of depends on the school just because each school does like your class load differently.
Like I took six over the course of a year and we did it in two halves. Um, so we did like semester one, [00:45:00] semester two, there was also like an eight AB day schedule for a little bit where I went to. Somebody else I’m, I’m, I’m working with a student that I’m working with only has three, a semester, best semesters are in third.
So she ends up with nine at the end of the day. So it kind of depends on the school that you go to. Um, but the average, I think is right around six, six to seven ish. There’s a whole,
yeah. You know, I got that, which was funny. Cause I wasn’t as falling for it. It just kind of like showed up. Thanks. I only took two APS and I w I was good with that. I had IB, I seen so many because there weren’t enough IB students where I went, a lot of us did AP IB classes. And so like, Be able to take the AP exam at the end, we’d be in there with the AP students.
But every so often my professor would say, okay, I be kids. This is for you. And like AP students would like go read a book or something and we learned something else. And then we [00:46:00] don’t have that. That’s I swear, we had the same experience
planning to do the IB diploma. I want to know how many hours of homework I will have to do. A lot, bestie a lie. I’m not even going to hold you. Um, it’s not awful if you don’t procrastinate. I didn’t like so I can’t, I’m a fun fact. I’m allergic to caffeine, which is weirdly personal, but it has a point. Um, so because I’m allergic to caffeine and I get a migraine.
If I don’t sleep, I can’t stay up all night. Like all nighters were not an option in high school. So I had to build my entire schedule around the fact that I couldn’t do the two to 3:00 AM, stretch that my. It’s manageable. If you make it manageable, if that makes any sense, like, if you’re like, oh, you know what, I know I have practice, but then I’m going to go home and like watch two or three episodes of a show.
And then I’m going to go like help mom make dinner, which like good for you is I’m going to go eat and let them mess around. And I’ll start my homework [00:47:00] at like 10 or 11. That is you best of luck to you. If you’re like, I have practice, I went to practice. I came home, did some homework, watched one episode of a show, ate dinner, came back and finished my homework and was done by 11 asleep by 12.
That’s a lot more manageable. Um, so there are going to be some sacrifices you have to make in terms of just like fun stuff you have, you get to do. Like, there were just some things I couldn’t do that my friends were doing because I had homework. But it’s definitely manageable and it can totally be done.
I only got like three new gray hairs, so it’s fine. This well, this
all pretty good. The are here except for the love. That was good. We were just, we were too young. I didn’t understand it. I was like, I, um, I’m not with it guys and ended up, like, I have an English degree. I’m like, oh, this was smart, this magical realism, but. [00:48:00] Let me out of here, every book I was confused.
They’re trying to explain to me, like I got some of it, but I didn’t get some of it. And then it’s like, it’s really about balancing that reading over the summer and then bouncing your essays during the school year. Exactly. Like what. Because, you know, if you join the reading team for eight straight years, you get good at that.
So I was reading way faster than my classmates remembering more. Anyway, like one day my professor was like random cop quiz, but it wasn’t like a thinking pop quiz. It wasn’t like, uh, why was the color blue in chapter three? It was like, okay. They only said it went to the 300 page book. How old is our main character?
And all those years about the books, I was like 26. And he was like, how did you remember that? And I was like, I don’t know. Why did you ask it? If you thought we wouldn’t do it? That was weird. Okay [00:49:00] like that. I’m like, why do you want us to fail champ? Yeah. Ask us the most obscure questions about definitions of words that weren’t bolded or italicized I’m like as an English person.
Did I get it yet? My classmates,
I, these IVs, but I recommend I do. My only complaint with the IB program is that your diploma at the end does not come golden crusted with Juul because after all that work, I feel like it should, but like the community. Talk to you and all me and my IB friends did cross country together. So we were together 25, 8, like all this, um, if I do a foreign language outside of high school with, with that, with that count as a credit poems on where you do it.
So if you do it in a [00:50:00] college setting, if you take class exams, that will give you college. Yes. If you just like speak Spanish at home or speak Spanish outside of the classroom. Cool. But it won’t give you much credit if that makes sense. So you might have to take the class anyway or talk to your counselor and they can see like what they can do, what classes it can help you take in order for that to count for something.
If you are good at the language, you can also take that IB or the AP exam without taking the class to see if you can just get credit.
Uh, did you pay in sports while you were in an AP IB classes? And if you did, did you, do you have any tips for upcoming freshmen? And we’ll let you have that because I actually did not do a sport despite my incredible height. I’m useless on the field. So I did cross country and cross country practice was every day after school for about two hours.
And then we had meets every Saturday. Um, [00:51:00] So half of my friends, didn’t, we’re not really school people. So surprisingly they were in the IB program, but they weren’t school people. So I wouldn’t recommend if you’re not really a school person willing to do the work, to do sports and IB, uh, APR a little bit more manageable.
Cause you don’t have like a million essays, but, um, How did, I mean, I would get home from practice around five ish and then I would go, I would shower he relaxed for a minute. And then I would just, you know, it depends on what classes too. If I had an essay at the time, I would work on the S I would start the essay a few days before.
Not a few days, uh, like some time before it was due. Um, and then I would just get the outline done and then the next day I’d just start working on it. And then just working on the essays, like bit by bit, like, even if you just get an outline, a rough, not a rough draft, a plate pre-writing done, um, that first night, just so you know what the topic [00:52:00] is, what you’re thinking about.
That’s a good way. Just so it doesn’t feel like stress. Like I haven’t even started, um, Really just don’t wait until the night before to write an essay, unless you’re a speed demon and can write 12 pages in one night, because I don’t recommend that though, uh, minutes last. So let’s see if there’s some more questions.
Uh, really, it’s more about your PR. How you’re able to manage that. Like, you can’t really tell someone how to manage time because everyone’s schedule is a little bit different. Um, you just kinda, what’s good for you, you know? Cause like some people can go to sleep at two in the morning and be fine. I wouldn’t do the say I would get a migraine if I stayed up.
So I was in bed by 12 midnight, if no. Not being me. And then I would see, I started doing a thing. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t study [00:53:00] or do reading or any homework after 11:00 PM, because after that point I wasn’t even paying attention. Yeah. Like my whole brain was off. I just stopped. So it’s really about knowing yourself.
That’s the beauty of high school, because once you get these study habits and you’re good for college for the most part, the foundation now, so you’re not struggling later. Uh, okay, there you go. Uh, one person asks, would it look bad if I don’t take any APS? My during my sophomore year. And I think they had a follow up that said, um, because their school doesn’t allow for sophomores to take APS.
You’re not thinking any sophomore year is not the end of the world. Um, it helped us because the foundation is laid that sophomore year so that you can go ahead and, um, understand it a lot better. So you can take more of that junior year, but it is not the end of the world. If you can’t take them sophomore year, because some schools don’t allow you because you’re still new to high school.
As long as [00:54:00] you don’t just not take any senior year. That’s just, I would take some at some point ASAP. Uh, let’s see. Were there any new questions? I feel like those, most of ’em.
Uh, so I love writing, but I’m interested in the medic in the medical field. What classes should I take or can I get, um, I wouldn’t take anything. Science-related honestly, like I loving writing is good, but a lot of classes are writing intensive regardless. And so I wrote multiple essays in my biology class.
Like I still got the writing practice, even though I was in a science class. So. As an IB student. I know a lot of my classes are writing intensive. I know a lot of AP students also had some writing intensive courses. I would go with science. Um, but if like creative writing as well on a creative writing class and take that too.
But your [00:55:00] classes will probably be writing intensive if you take AP IB, definitely go for it.
Oh, I was taking AP human geo a good idea in my freshman year or was I putting myself, was I setting myself up for failure in high school. Um, I don’t think you’re setting yourself up for failure. I think you are setting yourself up for a different freshman experience than other students, because they’re not going to take any AP classes.
And so you’re all going to have more work than probably your classmates and you might be the youngest person in that class, but it can be done. Totally. Fuel count yourself out. Not yet our APA wars impactful, significant to your chances of getting into college, um, do your best, but you’re, you’re grading your class matters more than necessarily the test itself.
The test matters if you want AP credit or if you want college credit. Um, but it’s more important to do well. Doing your best [00:56:00] period, but it is more important to do well in the class. Then the AP score at the end, unless you’re looking for that college credit, which most people are. So like, yeah, but even still, like if you get like two on the AP exam, but an a in the class, it’s not like you’re aiming, Amiens nothing, you know, you’re a, still means a lot.
And if you do bad,
would you recommend IB or AP English junior year? Um, honestly, it depends on what your goals are at the end. Like I know AP there’s some inky classes that you can take for college credit that will get you out of like, maybe like an English class or like a writing course that you have to take in order to graduate in college.
Um, there’s an IB won’t do that because there’s only like one IB class. Like you have to take essentially one class for two years. And so it doesn’t give you the same testing or the same experiences that those AP classes. We were trying to get out of that English in high school, in [00:57:00] college AP, if you’re looking to grow as a writer, IB, I think, um, that was most of them do one more.
Um, so it says I go to a small school that doesn’t offer, um, AP way. Was that the right? Oops submitted the wrong one. Um, Lord Jesus. Okay. Where am I? Uh, I go to a small school and they don’t offer AP cost. Oh, that was the same question. Sorry, that was the same old question. Um, okay. I attend, I attend an early college high school.
Most of my classmates take the same classes. Join the same clubs, have the same grades, et cetera. Is there anything I can do to make sure. Dart stand out. Once I start applying to. So a lot of students are in the same [00:58:00] boat at your end. So you’re not alone in that. Um, I would take clubs that are more geared towards your interests and if they still do a lot of overlap, I, I personally think that’s what your personal statements really for.
Um, so making sure that you are. Pretty confident in your interests and your passions and your hobbies, and what makes you, you, and then working on your ability to convey that on paper will go far and setting you apart. So I was, you know, an IB student, there were 70 other IB students. We were all pretty good students.
How do I set myself apart? Well, I took choir for starters. A lot of people are like, just took the AP IB classes. This is what I love. This is what I stand by. I will continue to stay quiet, even if I don’t have a 6.0 GPA when I graduate, because I guess we needs one. Um, your ability to convey who you are on the page will come in handy when the number game, so follow your interests, follow your hobbies.
If they align with other people’s cool. I would work on essay writing and being able to get to convey [00:59:00] who you are on paper. As opposed to fighting really hard to stand out when everybody’s taking the same classes and in the same clubs. Cause that’s what the school offers.
Okay. So we’re coming out tonight and thank you to our panelists and Jordan. Thanks for having me on something that is the end of the webinar. We had a really great time telling you about choosing high school classes. Here’s our July series and our upcoming one. Let’s see as next week on the 12th, joining new extracurriculars.
Um, so thanks for attending. That is the end of the web.