Taking risks can be scary. It’s like that section in The Game of Life, where you can decide to take the “safe path” or the “risky path.” Although the risky path has more “danger” or “pitfalls,” it also has rewards that are much higher than those on the “safe path.” Of course, real life is much more risky than any board game could be, but the same general ideas apply.
Putting yourself out there and taking a chance is definitely terrifying. I’d heard about how demanding and stressful junior year would be and debated with myself for a long time on what classes I wanted to take, finally deciding on a tougher combination of advanced classes and several after school extracurriculars. I knew that this decision might result in some loss of sleep and significantly more stress, but I didn’t want to miss these opportunities to challenge myself and spend the rest of my life wondering whether or not I could have done more.
I’ve had people ask me why I would stress myself out with all that I am doing, but a large part of maturing is knowing how much risk you should take. Advice from others is important, but I need to learn from my own experiences to see what works best for me. Through this process I also learned to not take blind risks, because this doesn’t help either.
However, this isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with playing it on the safer side. I knew that if I took fewer classes I would have a better GPA, but I decided I wanted to push myself to see how far as I could go, even if I do end up with a lower grade point average.
No matter what path people choose, they shouldn’t be looked down on for it. If you want to take regular classes or if you want to take APs, it shouldn’t matter to your peers.
How much you want to push yourself outside of your comfort zone is a personal decision. However, my advice would be to not be afraid of taking a few risks. It might just turn out better than you think.