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"Effort is the best indicator of interest."| A Duke Student's Experience in High School Courses


We had the privilege of interviewing Catherine McMillan,

  • a student at Duke University

  • a former student at the North Carolina Governor's School

  • her documentaries were featured in a screening at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

We asked her insight on: High School Courses


She tells us:

  • "...I was genuinely interested in most of the classes I took"

  • "...it’s hard to ascertain what a class will be like unless you enroll in it."


Q: If you scored in the top 5% how did you manage to balance all the coursework and load?

A: I was/am passionate about my education. In high school, I was genuinely interested in most of the classes I took. I was willing to put in the time and effort because it was important to me.




Q: How did you find time to complete all your schoolwork? On the bus, during school, etc.?

A: Late at night, sometimes on the bus, during lunch. I’d find the odds-and-ends of the day to squeak out all of my assignments.




Q: Is considering the teacher that teaches a course important when making selections?

A: Yes and no. People have different experiences with teachers. There is a kernel of truth in people’s lamentations or praise of a teacher, but it’s hard to ascertain what a class will be like unless you enroll in it.




Q: What AP classes helped your 4 years in high school the most?

A: AP English Language and Composition, AP US History, AP Comparative Government, AP English Literature, and AP Psychology.




Q: Do you think that you benefited more from your AP classes or from your extracurricular activities?

A: I can’t choose. They both took on different purposes for me.




See Catherine's LinkedIn account here!

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