There are very few things I value. Two of them are freedom and happiness. I have always passed on things that would infringe upon them. As a child, every year in school, I always passed on taking AP classes. At the beginning of every school year (and sometimes again during the school year) I would receive letters telling me I qualified or was personally recommended for AP classes. Now I knew what it was all about. I understood too well what school was really about, what advanced placement was really about, and how the way the world really worked. I would have been a fool to accept.
You see, school was never about learning. Learning was byproduct of schoolwork. School was really about grades and obedience. It wasn't knowledge that mattered at all. You were expected to only memorize enough to grade high in specific areas at specific times, and to learn how to obey every nonsensical command without question.
Advanced placement only meant you reached the end of the textbook by the end of the school year. In normal class, you didn't have to go through the entire thing. In AP you were also expected to do tons of more work for the same goal: the grade. They would assign you mountains of homework every night, make you write huge papers regularly, and have you complete extensive projects. Not only that, but the other side of your expectations were raised also. They wanted rigorous obedience. Not completing any assignment on time was not tolerated. You were to be a perfect studious child, or else.
The silliest part of the entire affair was that no one was going to give a shit about all of your hard work once you graduated. All of it was meaningless in the real world. Do you think anyone gives one single fuck if you were in AP classes or not when you were a child? It won't help you in any way except as one little bit to add to a resume that an employer can glance at briefly and disregard. Besides, social interaction and friendliness at work get you more benefits, promotions, and bonuses than hard work, skill, and diligence get you combined. The positive was vastly outweighed by the negative. Years of painful effort for next to nothing. Fuck that.
I knew I could easily learn all I needed from the textbooks alone. Teachers were superfluous to me. I finished the entire textbook every year by myself and gained all they could offer while my class puttered about skipping sections learning only the easy stuff. I tested so highly that I never needed to pore over the same crap every day and work hard on papers and projects. My test grades gave me an automatic pass in every subject. I went through my entire scholastic career never having written a single paper, constructing any project, or reading any novels. Instead, I slept well both in and out of class. My intelligence gave me leverage over my teachers. They would try in vain to get me to obey, but I would win every argument with good clean logic and after a while they let me be. One of my favorite teacher deals was if at any point they call on me in class and I answer incorrectly, I can't go back to sleep; that I would have to pay attention and take notes the rest of the day. Another good one was if I did not get the highest score on a test, then I would do my homework every day for a week.
All of this meant I wasn't chained to excessive school work, nor was I burdened with the stress and frustration that goes along with it. I was happy and free.
And to this day I continue with that procedure. I pass on promotions and extra responsibilities, accept raises, and keep work at work. I live a full life in my own time. I have never stopped learning or creating. I relax and do things my own way. I'm breaking Life's rules and it feels great.