Is My Course Load Too Rigorous?

Question: I am currently a Freshman taking Honors Geometry, Algebra 2, Modern World History, Biology, English, and regular French, choir, and Latin, and i have a 3.6 unweighted/4.1 weighted GPA. Next year, I am planning on taking AP US History, AP Human Geography, AP Latin, AP Capstone Seminar, Precalc AA, Chemistry AA, and English AA. I am also a world qualifying Irish dancer, practicing about 20 hours a week since i have been 4. Do you think that this is too much of a workload for a Sophomore, or do you think it is manageable? Thank you so much.

“The Dean" can't accurately advise you on course selection. I get these sorts of requests quite often, and my response is always the same. I don't know anything about the rigor of your high school and of each individual class in particular. For instance, at my son's former high school, even the freshmen knew that AP Bio was a killer while AP Psych was a stroll in the park. Sometimes the same class (e.g., Honors Geometry) might be tough or not too bad, depending on the teacher, which varied from section to section.

So you need to tune into the scuttlebutt at your own high school and try to figure out just how stressful your planned sophomore year will be. Moreover, I can't tell from your query if you expect to take all of these classes at the same time or whether some will last for one semester only. And, of course, each student is different. Some are master multi-taskers while others are easily befuddled when there are too many balls in the air. I also don't know how easy—or hard—it is for you to fit homework time around your dance-practice schedule. For instance, maybe you are good at getting work done during car rides or while you are waiting for your practices to begin. (Or perhaps if you're NOT so good at that, it's a skill you can start to cultivate.)

Bottom line: If you plan to take all of those classes every day for the entire school year, it does seem like it might be a weighty load and you might want to drop or postpone the AP US History or the AP Human Geography. But if your school is on some sort of block plan, then the schedule seems more reasonable. But, again, “The Dean" cannot responsibly judge what you can handle without knowing a lot more about your school … and about YOU!