Disadvantaged because of course restrictions?


I’m currently a junior in the Bay Area (Asian male; Chinese) and this year I’m really stressing out (as everyone else is, I’m sure) with the uncertainty and everything.

School just started and I’m currently only taking 2 APS this year (apeng, ap bio). I was planning on having a lot of extracurriculars and having a lot of work to do so I decided not to do APUSH, but now I’m regretting it a lot as the courseload is super light now and I’m really scared with all my free time. I’ve tried pushing my school to give me APUSH now but our counselors are really bad and they don’t really listen to their students. Pretty much all I have right now is my piano (teaching children as a side job, certificate of merit) and my nonprofit that I’m running. I’m thinking about taking AP statistics class at UC Scout or FLVS but my high school won’t factor classes taken outside of school into the high school transcript, and I’m not sure if online AP Classes taken at online high schools will count towards the cumulative high school gpa if it isn’t on your brick and mortar high school transcript. Furthermore, I don’t even know when the SATs are gonna happen and if I should even bother taking the chemistry SAT to make up for the B+ I got in 10th grade. Any suggestions on what I should do with my free time? I’m aiming to get into a highly selective school (ivies, ucs, ut, etc) for premed but I’m not sure if I’m doing enough considering kids at my school are doing 3, 4, even 5 aps junior year. Thanks!

Do remember that other students are in the same boat.
They will have less ECs.
They will have trouble taking the SAT/ACT.
Don’t take an outside AP.
Make an appt with your guidance counselor formally. Talk to them about switching to APUSH. If they won’t make an appt, talk to the Head of the GUidance Dept.
If there are still issues, get your parent’s involved.

Also not being allowed to switch into an AP class once school has started is not the same as having a restriction. It sounds like you chose to not take APUSH and now regret it. FWIW it is not unusual for a HS not to allow students to switch into AP classes once school has started. Find out your HS policy ASAP, talk to your guidance counselor, and see if anything can be done.

In terms of ECs, standardized tests etc. everyone is in the same boat.

What do you mean “counselors are really bad and they don’t really listen to their students.“. What exactly have you done to try to switch courses and what has been the result?

Number of assigned teachers, number of teacher sessions/periods, etc., is based on registered student count, which is a choice you made. Courses being at their maximum size for effective education is a valid reason for not allowing a switch. “No, go away, I don’t have time to deal with you” is not. Please provide more detail on the reasons.

Escalating, getting parents involved, etc., would be a next step, but there needs to be a better narrative than “counselors are really bad”.

(For future students, reducing course rigor for more EC time typically isn’t a good trade-off in terms of college admissions, IMHO.)