It may seem strange to see a person wearing a highlighter yellow T-shirt with a cartoon fly on it that bears a complicated Latin binomial nomenclature in the hallway, but in fact that student is only one of many who took AP Biology last year.
Advanced Placement classes, such as AP NSL, AP Biology and AP BC Calculus have designed T-shirts for students to wear on test and exam days.
“One of the goals of the shirts is to make others want to take the class and be part of the class,” AP NSL teacher Matthew Schilling said. “The shirts [are meant to] make AP classes seem more accessible and appealing.”
The implementation of these shirts is used to promote more challenging classes to other students. In fact, seeing the shirts can play a major role in motivating students to sign up.
“I am so mad because I took two [AP classes last year] and I was looking forward to getting a shirt, but I never did,” senior Ariana Nasseri said. “Whenever I see people wearing shirts from other classes, I sort of wish I had taken that class because the students seem very unified, like they work together to get good grades.”
If the shirts fail to properly represent the class itself, they are still able to illustrate the attitudes of the students who wear them and the teachers who decide to implement them.
“When people wear the shirts for classes, it shows me that they are passionate about them,” sophomore Kevin Bachrach said. “It also shows me that the teachers are cool enough that they can relate to the students on a personal level.”
The students and teachers realize the difficulty of their courses, making the T-shirts a clear depiction of the pride and hard work that is needed to obtain a sense of accomplishment in the course.
According to junior Emma Benjamin, classes should only make T-shirts if it is a really difficult subject. The students who wear their shirts all “went through the same ordeal,” and the T-shirts are meant to unite them.
Unity and camaraderie are most evidently displayed in students who wear their shirts for classes on the days of major assessments. Wearing the shirts help students feel more confident during tests by giving them a sense of companionship. On these days, the students all work toward achieving a good grade and the T-shirts exemplify their readiness to put their efforts to the test, literally.
“When I put the shirt [for my AP NSL exam], it was definitely a confidence boost,” junior Zoe Dobkin said. “Seeing everyone else wearing the shirt made me feel united with my classmates.”
It is true that the shirts create a team of the students who wear them because it is fundamental for the players, or classmates, to work together and help each other out if they want to succeed. Overall, the T-shirts have held a positive influence over students and are successful in creating a sense of unity and pride.
“As stupid as students may feel admitting it, the shirts are cool because they make you feel like you’re a part of something,” Dobkin said.