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RAHS students push the limits

High-achievers strive for more learning, challenging classes

By Charles Self

Mollie Brombaugh is hard at work as she tackles all that RAHS throws at her.
Photo by Tristina Huynh

Raisbeck Aviation High School is built for those who want to achieve a higher education in the STEM field. It helps to push determined students to their limits while preparing them for the future. Challenging course schedules are available for the few who fly high and set the bar for the student body.

Despite being a sophomore, Mollie Brombaugh has taken on a pile of classes that would be intimidating to even a junior.

“Honestly, without sounding too vain, pride was a primary reason why I wanted to take more advanced classes,” said Brombaugh. “I wanted, and still want to be, the best, and the best person I could be.”

Brombaugh is thankful to have the opportunities that RAHS provides for her and continues to push herself to constantly be a better student.

“I want to aim for, and be at, the top,” said Brombaugh. “Additionally, I wanted to challenge myself by taking a harder class load, which is something I have been doing since elementary school. Finally, I wanted to get a jump start on as many classes as possible because I love math and science. I want to have the capacity and ability to learn as much as possible throughout my high school years, and getting ahead in my classes helps with that.”

Remaining at the top is no easy feat. However, the repercussions, such as obtaining older friends, greatly enhances one’s learning experience.

“Aside from the advanced learning experiences, one of the major advantages to taking these advanced classes is my expanded friend/acquaintance group,” said Brombaugh. “I’ve really had a great experience working with juniors and seniors and it’s good to know more people at school.”

While having friends in classes is a must, the material is what truly makes a class special. However, a downside of taking on junior level work is the mental stress accompanying it.

“These classes have also been fun because I just really like the material,” said Brombaugh, “and it’s cool to understand more and more how the world works. Also, I think I’m getting an early dose of the junior slumps.”

While early onset junior slumps may be looming, the classes that Brombaugh chooses to push herself with are teaching her to deal with different teaching and learning styles.

“Right now, I’m taking 3 advanced, non-sophomore classes; AP Calculus AB, AP Physics 1, and Chemistry,” said Brombaugh. “Each of these classes has significantly unique and distinct teaching/learning styles, but I am having no issues with any of them. Each class’s style suits the teacher and to some extent, the subject, and I have adjusted and succeeded in each class despite their differences. No complaints here.”

Working as hard as she does, Brombaugh recognizes the work she has taken on can be detrimental if she is not careful.

“I may run out of classes in my senior year, though that’s far in the future so not my concern right now,” said Brombaugh. “More pressing is that [as] a sophomore, [we] have this wonderful thing called the ECP. I have heard that the ECP is challenging enough taking a regular sophomore load, and I have heard from junior friends that the ECP is terrible with one AP. I have approximately 2.5. AP and ECP season is going to be terrible.”

Oliver Low is a RAHS Junior who has taken it upon himself to fill his schedule with challenging classes.

“I was fortunate enough to get two science classes on my schedule this year, both Chemistry and AP Physics 1, which go really well together,” said Low. “I also have the two other AP classes that I really wanted to take: Calculus BC and AP Language/Composition.”

Although none of Low’s classes assign a lot of homework, there are some challenging nights.

“I don’t feel like any one of these classes comes with a massive amount of homework,” said Low, “although occasionally they do all overlap and I’m in for a long night.”

With these longer classes one must work harder to remain relaxed to push themselves forth.

“Staying relaxed can always be a bit difficult going back and forth between all my classes,” said Low, “but for a lot of them, the work has almost become a kind of personal challenge or game to see how far I can push myself.”

At RAHS, Low must constantly strive to become a better student as new challenges present themselves.

“I like to get competitive with my friends and can be a bit of a show-off when I get the opportunity,” said Low. “So while being relaxed isn’t always possible, I’ve realized that you can definitely still manage to have fun based around your workload.”

To complete the tasks that are mandatory in so many classes, one must have a specific mindset, and recognizing the opportunities available at RAHS is imperative.

“For me, my mindset going into junior year was all about proving that I can take advantage of all the opportunities our school provides,” said Low. “I really wanted to demonstrate my interest and skill in science and math fields, and I ended up with an excellent combination of classes to do that.”

There is some good advice to follow as one takes a turn down the twisty path that is AP courses.

“Basically, if you have a strong interest in the classes you’re taking,” said Low, “then motivating yourself to stay on top of things becomes less of a challenge.”

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