Personal Column: Am I scheduling for myself or my GPA?


All my life, my grades have been of the utmost importance. I strived for A’s all the time, and maintained that for each semester of my academic year. Additionally, my GPA is  serious deal for me. I hear so many fellow students who just want to pass… who just want to be in the top 50 percent. But that is crazy to me. Why settle so low? I am ranked at number 30 in my class, and I’m not even happy with that. Though it is still top five percent, I want to be one of the front people at graduation, the top 20 of my graduating year; that’s been my goal from the very beginning.

However, at some point, I need to worry about my mental health, more than a number. High school as a whole has been pretty stressful for me, but this year really hit me hard. From the advanced classes to being editor of both newspaper and yearbook, to my job and stacks of homework, junior year is a lot. Not to mention the terrifying realization that college and life on my own is right around the corner. The mail and e-mails from various universities is piling up, and though at first it excited me, now I groan at each one, knowing how close reality is catching up to me.

So as I choose my schedule for my last year of high school, I find myself asking this question over and over again: am I building my schedule for my GPA… or for my best interest?

I am hit with the difficult decisions of AP or TCC; advanced or regular; electives or releases. The latter choices of these would surely help to give me a break in my hectic and stressful life, especially since I have started working, but is that enough for me? Can I be okay with just average? Frankly, I think not, which sucks because I know it could help me. However, it would not help my GPA. How can I expect to get that top-20 position if I’m taking it easy?

These questions and worries flood my mind, never with any answers. I have accepted that perfection is a near impossible feat, and I can be okay with just successful. But where does that line fall?

Since meeting with my counselor, I have decided to take one regular class: astronomy. Science has never been my strong suit, so I do not want to spend yet another year stressed about that dreadful course. Instead, can use it as a kind of break, seeing as how many people say it is a blow-off anyway. However, I also plan on taking AP English IV, AP Stats, TCC Government/Economics and AP Spanish V. Not the easiest workload in the world by far, especially in addition to being editor of newspaper and yearbook, but it is what I want and think I can handle, and I feel that is the most important.