The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Six APs and Still Sane: Amanda Shen and Simon Kim

Simon+Kim+and+Amanda+Shen.+Credit%3A+Poojaa+Prakash+Babu+%2721
Simon Kim and Amanda Shen. Credit: Poojaa Prakash Babu '21

Simon Kim and Amanda Shen. Credit: Poojaa Prakash Babu '21

Simon Kim and Amanda Shen. Credit: Poojaa Prakash Babu '21

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If you think it’s impossible to take five or six AP classes and still participate in varsity sports, leadership roles, and have amazing friends, Amanda Shen 19′ and Simon Kim 19′ are here to prove you wrong.

Simon took six AP classes in his junior year and Amanda is taking 5 APs her senior year. Both remain upbeat, always friendly, and, more importantly, sane despite their schedules.

Simon’s junior year APs were English, Microeconomics, U.S. History, Calculus AB, Chemistry, and Chinese. Despite this rigorous workload, Simon managed to participate in JV Swimming and serve as a dorm proctor, an Admissions intern, and a member of the disciplinary committee. Oh, and he was also the Junior Class President last year.

Talking to The Willistonian, Simon was characteristically humble.

“It was actually pretty normal during the first trimester and the second trimester, just like other students on campus taking six classes,” said Simon. “However, things started to heat up during the third trimester when I had to prepare for the AP tests and studying for the assessments at the same time.”

AP, or Advanced Placement, is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board. It offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations.

Senior Amanda Shen is currently enrolled in AP English, AP Studio Art, AP Calculus BC, AP Microeconomics, and AP Biology. She agreed with Simon that the courses are manageable, unless you added more work into your life at the same time.

“For the last two weeks, all my classes were just fine, the course load was even less than the ones I took last year,” explained Amanda. “However, for the first month of school, I had to also prepare for the SAT and [my] college application for ED [early decision] so it was a lot to take in. But I’m glad that that phase wasn’t going to last for long.”

In addition to her school work, Amanda is also an artist specializing in painting, the Captain of Varsity Squash, a member of the Varsity Tennis team, an Admissions intern, one of the Editors-in-Chief of the yearbook, and a proctor in Mem East.

Even running on all academic cylinders hasn’t kept Amanda from hanging out with her friends.

“I feel like the amount of school work from classes I have this year doesn’t affect my relationships with my friends at all — in fact, they might even help me strengthen my friendships with people,” said Amanda. “Many of the classes I take have a lot of my friends in it, so we always either have a study night before tests or do group projects together so I actually have more time to spend with my friends.”

Simon agreed: “I definitely feel like the course work I had last year didn’t affect my friendships at all,” he said. “It’s true that I might have more work than usual, but it helps me learn to manage my time better and still able to hang out with my friends.”

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Nhi Nguyen '19, Managing Editor

Nhi is a senior at Williston. She is from Hanoi, Vietnam. In her free time, she enjoys taking pictures and hanging out with friends.

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Six APs and Still Sane: Amanda Shen and Simon Kim