by Lauren Mesley '18
Taking Advanced Placement courses at Thornton Academy gives students the gift of 40 hours of homework every week, plenty of all-nighters, enough stress to last them a lifetime. Along the way, the students experience a $94 exam fee in the spring, at least one ton of self-imposed discipline, and a heavily weighted GPA. But for these students, they wouldn't have it any other way.
Most students would take one peek at the workload associated with an AP class and run the other way. But, the AP student, is not your average student.
One of the best aspects of an AP class is the fact that it’s taught at the same level as a college class. It proves a student’s college-readiness and challenges students who make some of the lower-level high school classes look like a breeze. Not to mention, if students receive a score of 4 or 5 on the exam, many colleges or universities will grant them college credit for the course and they may be able to skip a class or two during their first year. Or, in some cases, skip most of their entire first semester. Now, that's a deal.
Lauren Mesley '18 working to complete her her academic assignments in the Thornton Academy New Media Center.
As one Thornton AP teacher has been heard to say, "It just might be the least expensive college credit you'll ever take."
An Advanced Placement class at TA is also extremely helpful to those students who know or think they know what they want to study while in college or even what career they may want to pursue. Taking an AP class forces students to get to know the subject they are studying at a much deeper level. Some of the classes even meet every day for nearly 90 minutes, and when the course is finished and the students are ready to leave school, they seem to know for sure if they still love the subject they have been studying for a year.
Lauren Mesley '18 and her castmates celebrate another standout performance of the fall play, "You Can't Take It With You."
This became even clearer to me when I took AP Language and Composition. I knew I loved writing, but it wasn’t until I was writing one essay every week that I understood that in the future, I don’t want to be an editor. I want to be a writer for sure, but not someone who spends the mojority of their time revising and correcting other writer's work.
Having the opportunity to challenge students and encourage them to pursue their career so early in life is amazing. When most students leave high school, they have no clue where they belong in the world. Thanks to the AP program at Thornton Academy, students have a little more of an idea and a better understanding of the direction they would like to follow after Thornton. That's not a bad thing.