Last Updated: May 30, 2017
AP Exams are all over, bringing a feeling of relief that you’ve finally taken a test you’ve been studying for all year. You can forget about the pages and pages of notes you had to take and no longer have to immerse yourself in hours of Spanish, French, or whatever other subject(s) you were taking. All the stress from taking these exams is gone…or is it?
Many students feel anxiety after taking an AP Exam because they just really want to know what they got on the test. However, scores come out about two months after the exam, which is an incredibly long time to wait for something that many students are impatient about. So, to help pass the time productively, here are a few things you can do while you wait to find out how well you did on your AP Exams.
There are a lot of opportunities to visit college campuses in May and June. Visiting during this time is great because you get to see what college is like after the students are done with their finals and are packing up (that’s going to be you in a few years, after all). Additionally, you may be able to find out about summer programs occurring at the university or a few leftover students to ask what the school is really like. College visits are a crucial part of the college search process, so why not knock them out while you’re waiting for your AP scores? Plus, this is a good time to find out if the college accepts AP scores, either for general credits or electives.
Have a staycation
AP classes and exams are exhausting, especially after having worked so hard for an entire year. What better way to reward yourself for persevering than by treating yourself? Even if it’s just taking in the sun or watching Netflix on a long weekend, it's a great way to relax and get your mind off things. You could check out your local museums and art galleries if you want to enjoy a bit of culture. Many museums offer free days in June, so you can hit the town with your friends and take a mental break on the cheap. Another fun idea is having your own spa day. And, if you really want to relax, the best way to enjoy this time is to sleep. But the most important thing is to just relax and take a day or two off—you do you how you do best.
Related: 10 Ways Students Can De-Stress
Get an internship
Getting an internship is really important for high school students. It allows you to make connections, gain experience in the workforce, and try out different industries if you’re unsure about what you want to do with your life. Plus, there are always organizations out there willing to help teens get paid summer internships and jobs; all you have to do is look. Internships also allow you to get a mentor for the future. Making connections is really important in this day and age, and even if your boss doesn’t work for the industry you want to work for, they could help you meet someone who does. Who knows—your boss’s friend could end up being your boss one day!
Go to school events
If you’ve never attended a school game, concert, or other event, it may seem like it’s too late to start now. But it totally isn’t! Even if you’re a senior who’s been ready to get out of high school since the first day of school, you should still attend at least one of these events. Get all of your friends together and go to the last concert of the year. You’ll definitely remember it as you move on to the next stage in your life, and it could possibly be one of your favorite high school memories. Cheering for your school’s team is also really fun, and it’ll serve as a distraction from any AP Exam anxiety.
Look for scholarships
Since it’s the end of the year, your school course load is probably (hopefully) getting smaller, and now that APs are done, you might find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands. Though the appeal of surfing through the Internet all day or binge-watching a new show on Netflix is greater than searching for scholarships, applying to them will pay off more in the end. In addition to applying to minor scholarships (which add up!), it’s also helpful to search for organizations that offer full-ride scholarships to students. Some of these applications may not open until late summer, but this is a great time to familiarize yourself with the organizations and find out more about what they have to offer. And don’t forget to apply for every easy/random scholarship you can; somebody has to win those, after all!
Study, study, study some more
Although it might not seem ideal, it’s really important to keep studying, especially if you’re retaking the SAT or ACT. The next SAT date is June 3, and the next ACT date is June 10. There’s no better way to raise your scores than to study, and even though there’s just a few weeks until these dates, there’s no time like the present. Studying now could be the way you get accepted into your dream college. Plus, if you’re taking AP classes again next year, you may have already received your summer assignments. It might seem pre-emptive to start your summer homework before this school year even ends, but it would definitely beat out the late summer stresses we all have as we rush to finish our summer homework. It always pays to be prepared!
Hopefully these tips will help take your mind off your AP Exams. As AP season comes to an end and classes become more relaxed, it’s easy to be consumed with the thought of those scores. But July will be here sooner than we think, and there will be nothing to have worried about in the first place. Here’s to fives all around!