AP Classes – An Added Load of Stress?

Four DCHS juniors share their experience with AP classes


Alaina Cleghorn, Staff Writer

There is a saying that junior year is the most stressful and difficult year in high school. Here are the perspectives of four juniors who added Advanced Placement (AP) classes to their schedules this year.

Katie Ford (’24) is taking five AP classes at Dowling Catholic. On top of that, she works at Mercy Hospital, volunteers at Lutheran Hospital, and tutors at Gigi’s Playhouse and Dowling.

Ford is really enjoying her classes and loves all of her teachers. Her mom inspired her to take these classes. “My mom has drilled into me that I need to get a scholarship, I have to go to college. And I want to go to college.”

Ava Petersen (’24) is taking four AP classes at Dowling Catholic. Outside of school she is involved in tennis and Student Ambassadors.

So far, it has been difficult for Petersen to balance all of her classes. “Honestly, AP classes are a lot different than regular because your workload doubles and assistance from teachers is minimal,” Petersen said.

This year, Petersen is taking AP Physics, AP US History, AP Language and Composition, and AP Psychology. She is taking these classes because she hopes to attend a high-end college in the future.


Joseph Paulsen (’24) is taking two AP classes this year, AP Environmental Science and AP Psychology. He is involved in football, track, and works at Glen Oaks Country Club.

Paulsen only spends about 5-15 minutes on homework each night. “The classes have been much easier than I thought they would be,” said Paulsen.

Paulsen is taking these classes to help him get into college. Furthermore, he hopes it will make his college experience easier.

Matt Dorsey (’24) is taking three AP classes this year, including AP US History, AP Physics, and AP Calculus AB. He is involved in golf, basketball, Student Ambassadors, Ut Fidem, and many other activities.

“What inspired me to take these college level classes is so that I can build my college resume so I can get accepted into the University of Florida,” said Dorsey. 

 Though classes have been going well, AP classes require a lot of work outside of school.

“It is getting more difficult to balance schoolwork with sports and extracurricular activities,” said Dorsey.