Would you take six AP classes? How junior Chris Lew balances academics and extracurriculars

Maddie Browne, Spotlight Editor

Q: What made you decide to take so many AP classes?

A: It just happened. I went through the course advancement for the classes I was already tracked in, but I wanted to take AP Psych for this year because the applications for the US Naval Academy start towards the end of this school year. I did, however, get AP Chem as an accident. I wasn’t supposed to take it, but I did because it was the only science I could take 8th period. I don’t mind because it’s a fun class, but it’s a lot of extra work.

Q: What’s the most challenging thing about all of these classes?

A: I think that the most challenging thing to do in all these classes is definitely keeping track of doing all of the work from each class. I really have an aversion to planning, but this year I told myself I would be better about doing everything on time. It’s working out and paying off. Not using a planner was a big problem for me during the first couple years here because I never actually wrote down anything. Now, I’m making a conscious effort to plan things, so I do all of the work that I can.

Q: How do extracurriculars factor into time management?

A: I’m on the rifle team here and I’m in the NJROTC program, in which I’ve started to take more of a leadership role. I’m on the Arm Drill team, which takes up a lot of mornings. I have to focus on which classes need the work to be done. I dropped one of my jobs because I wanted to go to nationals on the rifle team. I still work weekends, which includes Friday night. I do homework, then I go to work for a couple hours and work long hours if they need me, and then I come home and do more homework.

Q: What are some tips you have for kids who are choosing to take a large number of AP classes?

A: Definitely think the decision through. It can be beneficial, but you’re going to have to make sacrifices. I know for a fact that I can’t get it all done, so being imperfect is something you have to learn to live with. That’s where prioritizing and proper planning comes in, because if you manage your time correctly, you won’t feel overwhelmed. If you’re planning on doing it, you have to know yourself. If you want to take a lot of AP classes, you have to go in with confidence. Things can spiral down drastically, and it can destroy all of your grades. Just shoulder it and say, ‘I’m going to be an adult about this now’ and then follow through. Don’t complain, and be positive. If someone asks me if they should do it, I’d tell them it’s not up to me. It’s about how they feel. But I’d say it’s doable.