Academic pride leads to greater student success

By Tyler Mead, Online Features Editor

When I was a sophomore, I used to walk the halls of CHS in a ridiculous maroon shirt that had a large picture of James Madison’s face. While I should have been embarrassed by such strange apparel, I wore it proudly. It was my AP NSL t-shirt.

The tradition of wearing AP class shirts is storied and should not end. People outside these classes think AP students are trying to say that they are smarter than students in honors or regular courses. This could not be further from the truth. The AP shirt is not an obnoxious statement about students’ inflated egos; rather, it is a symbol of academic pride.

CHS is home to a community of extremely driven students. I see no reason why students who push themselves in difficult classes should be chastised for showing a little school spirit. A student who works to do well in an Advanced Placement class should feel just as accomplished as an athlete on one of our sports teams.

For example, I have never looked at the football team wearing their jerseys on game days and thought: “show offs.” The members of our athletic teams have worked to be on a team and are respected for it. They do not wear their jerseys to say how much better they are than everyone else at a certain sport. Unfortunately,when a student wears a shirt that identifies a class he takes, people make a fuss about how our elitist academic culture frowns upon the average aptitude.

No one is stopping a student from taking an AP class. Almost everyone at CHS is fully capable of achieving in a class like AP NSL if they apply themselves. Yes, AP classes require more work and more independent studying, but no one will be told they are too stupid for an AP class.

CHS has a tradition of striving for achievement. The school has encouraged students to challenge themselves by removing on-level U.S. History. We are even reminded of our school’s achievement by our Blue Ribbon status. No one is forced to take an AP course, but the teachers are simply encouraging students more with their less than fashionable shirts.

If students are not allowed to feel good about taking a challenging course, why take an AP class? Should we really become a school that criticizes anyone who is trying to better themselves? We earn our 5’s. We also earn our t-shirts.