Brilliant meets wise


As a senior, Caroline Tran participates in varsity tennis, holds the Key Club presidency, and is involved in four advanced placement classes, such as Chemistry, Economics, Calculus, and English. She also maintained a grade point average of 4.81 during the first semester of her senior year.

Angelica Co, Student Life Editor

All throughout the school year, dedication and hard work have emerged from the Vikings who tackle multiple Advanced Placement classes along with various clubs and sports. Despite the tremendous amount of perseverance these rigorous courses and extra curricular activities require, these students have willingly accepted the challenge.

“I want to be well educated because I think it’s worthwhile,” senior and varsity tennis player Sophia Loumiotis said.

It is no doubt that advanced classes necessitate a huge amount of time outside of campus, but piling on four to five of these college courses, and then having sports and clubs on top of that compel the challengers to be organized and to know how to balance out all of their responsibilities. In addition to traveling from South Gate every day, senior Alfredo Munoz has decided that his last year as a high school student should not be a reason for him to stop challenging himself. With three AP classes each semester and being on varsity football and wrestling teams, the go-getter is also a member of KIWIN’S service club, which demands eight to sixteen hours of volunteer hours a month.

“A.P. classes require more studying than an average student may do,” Munoz said. “On top of getting home late from football or wrestling practice or KIWIN’S events, I may have to stay up a few extra hours in order to do any homework or studying that is required.”

Because of the workload the Vikings have decided to carry, weekends must also be dealt with wisely. Besides catching up on some sleep and hanging out with friends and family, the two days are also spent catching up on homework. Oftentimes, weekends are not only used to ensure that he is caught up, but to also attempt to get ahead since more work will surely be added to the stack as another week rolls around.

“Organization is the key. I have to know when my assignments are due so that I can complete them on time,” Munoz said. “I also have to do my best to keep from procrastinating so that I won’t be stuck staying up all night the day before an assignment is due.”

Although most students perceive these rigorous classes as tedious and uneventful, their atmosphere—in comparison to regular classes—prove to be quite different and even enjoyable. These students have spent their high school years in the same classes with individuals who understand their frustration and stress. They have built together a family, and it would be of no surprise to see groups of them around the campus studying, working on a project, or just having fun.

“AP students are generally very supportive of each other,” senior Rebekah Jin said. “It’s nice to have friends who understand what you’re going through, especially when you’re all up past midnight trying to complete the same assignment together.”

On the other hand, these college courses are not just available to allow the students to test themselves; they are opportunities for students to get college credits while still in high school proving that they pass the AP test in May. The benefits of these classes for Munoz’s future in college have inspired him to keep reaching above the norm.

“I found out that these classes give college credit at some universities so it became even more worthwhile; when I go into college to become an Aerospace Engineer I won’t have to take as many classes,” the future engineer said. “Taking these classes also saves money because I won’t have to take them in college.”

But certainly, every advantage presents a drawback. Even though these intellects are filled with knowledge, sleep is something that most—if not all—of them lack. When unforeseen work is assigned, it is likely that late nights are used finishing up calculus problems, essays, or studying for tests. The Associated Student Body Historian, Jin, is the epitome of an active student. Beside ASB, she manages four AP classes and is the Key Club publicist. But during her sophomore year, she juggled highly demanding activities, band and ASB, along with her honors and AP classes. Because they all required a tremendous amount of commitment, Jin was compelled to make a decision that would best benefit her; thus, she chose to give up band, something she really enjoyed being a part of.

“I often slept as little as two to three hours per night at my busiest stage; that wasn’t very nice,” Jin said. “It’s really important to figure out the right amount of responsibilities that works for you without having to sacrifice your health along the way.”

Taking on this challenge is not always suitable for every student. Although one has the capability to learn and improve themselves, it is also significant for the students to be interested in the topic and to be aware of the risk they decide to embark on.

“It looks good on an application to take a lot of AP classes, but if you don’t really care about what you’re learning, you won’t do as well,” Loumiotis said. “It isn’t worth the time you have to put in, to spend it reading about something you don’t want to.”

Every year, a great number of academically advanced individuals travel together from one class to the next hoping to gain greater knowledge. But what sets this group of individuals apart is their commitment to education while taking part in other activities that highlight their talents and interests. These outstanding students all share one thing in common: they all have the desire to learn and improve. And along with that desire is their yearning for success.