Alumni reflect on Wilson college prep


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Talya Lehrich

“There are no test corrections in college!” “Your professors won’t be this nice!” “I’m trying to prepare you for a college-level class!”

We have all heard a teacher say something along these lines at some point. With dozens of AP classes, Wilson strives to equip students for higher-level education and various fields of study. Certain classes, however, have aided Wilson graduates more than others in their college endeavors.

“The class that I felt most prepared me for college was Mr. Lee’s Marine Biology course,” Jacob Boss, a freshman biology major at Morehouse College, said. “We learned aspects of so many other sciences and I felt as though I had an edge up on my classmates when it came to classes like chemistry or physics.” Boss credits Wilson’s Marine Biology course with helping him develop his interests in science.

Similar to Boss, University of California, Davis freshman Allie O’Brien also credits Wilson’s science department with helping her prepare for college. “I really loved my AP Biology class,” O’Brien said. “There are plenty of classes where the workload is arguably college-prep, but I think that at the end of the day, if a class with a huge workload doesn’t make you excited to learn, it’s probably not worth taking. [AP Bio] was definitely work, but a manageable amount. And since I was interested in the subject, I didn’t mind putting in the effort.”

Virginia Commonwealth University sophomore Arrington Peterson continued on to art school after Wilson. “For applying to art school, the classes that helped me the most were my ceramics and sculpture classes,” Peterson said. Many schools offer only drawing and painting classes, so it was these classes, where projects were done in 3D mediums that set Peterson’s portfolio apart from others’. Specifically, Peterson remembers a project from her sophomore year at Wilson that gained recognition from colleges. “In my sculpture class sophomore year we had a leather project, which I put into my portfolio,” Peterson said. “At a portfolio review day the representatives from multiple art schools commented on how interesting it was and how it’s an unusual medium.”

Students at Wilson take AP classes for a challenging course and the added bonus of possibly earning college credits. “I took mostly APs in Wilson, which really reduced the amount of core requirement classes I had to take in college,” Peterson said. “I’m starting my second semester of my sophomore year at college, and I’m already done with all my core requirements. That’s allowed me to take classes that are not required but that I want to learn about without putting me off track for graduation.” Peterson expressed gratitude that DCPS covers AP exam costs, allowing Wilson students to take the exams free of charge. “I know a bunch of students at my college that didn’t take APs because they’d have to pay almost $100 for each test,” Peterson said.

“When I think about how Wilson prepared me, it mostly prepared me by forcing me to learn how to manage time and be independent,” Goel said. “Compared to a lot of the small private schools some of my friends went to, I was given more independence and as result, I learned how to advocate for myself.”

“The only things I feel like I lacked coming into college was better time management and study habits and maybe an optional course working on that would be beneficial,” she continued. “Wilson gives you all the tools for success, it’s just about how you use them for yourself.”