The AP Olympics!


International Olympic Committee

The Beijing 2022 Olympics just took place, as did course registration for the next school year.

Everyone at Irvington knows about the terror of course registration that falls upon us every Spring (unless you’re a freshman, but you’ll learn soon enough). If anyone at Irvington dreams of going to the Olympics someday, don’t worry! Multiple Olympic athletes and their training teams have found that in order to make it to the Olympics, you need to have incredible perseverance and stress tolerance, so you’re already halfway there after enduring course registration.  

Now, everyone knows about how physically and mentally taxing it is to be an Olympic athlete. Athletes represent their country and spend years working up to this point, beating the rest of the competition to get here. Is course registration not the same, especially for AP courses? Sure, maybe you haven’t trained for four years to get into AP Chem, but the path to Mr. Lee’s coveted class is paved with equally arduous challenges  And it’s definitely physically and mentally taxing to pray to the school counselor gods that you get into the course you want! 

Don’t forget about all the athletes that don’t make it to the Olympics. We all know, Olympic athletes are simply on another level. Every year, new contenders test the boundaries of human capability, making the competition harder to beat. AP registration is the same in some ways, because of how the course requirements change every year. First, it’s “get a B in this prerequisite course to qualify”. Next, it’ll be changed to “get an A in that course and also have a 4.0 GPA”. Then, it’s “get a 100% in that prerequisite course as well as recommendation letters from all your teachers since 1st grade and don’t forget to win a Nobel Prize in every category”. We all know that you can’t always get into the classes you want, but just like the Olympics, you can have a second chance at it another time (unless you’re too old. At least seniors get priority for some Irvington courses!)

There are some differences between course registration and the Olympics though. Luckily for us, though maybe unluckily for my never-ending stress and mental deterioration, course registration occurs every year, not every four years! If you don’t get into a course, you could try again next year, or for some courses like AP Psychology, it might just be better to wait until you’re a rising senior who’ll get priority. You also don’t figure out whether or not you get into a course immediately- instead, you have to wait for months on end in a state of distress. Don’t worry though, when Maze Day comes, you’ll know whether or not you’ll be taking the class you signed up for, or Art 1. And luckily, because the school admins are so incredibly generous and thoughtful, you’ll be given less than a week to process that information and figure out what to do in the future!

To some extent, qualifying for some AP courses should be an Olympic sport. Even if there are some differences in each system, it’s pretty difficult to get into some of those AP courses, and the stress and physical toll is almost exactly the same as qualifying for the Olympics (source: “Quantified Data on Stress Levels in ages 15-18 to qualify for AP courses found comparable to stress of professional athletes in Olympics”).