Planning Ahead


Near the end of the second semester, choosing courses for the next year can be very stressful and cause anxiety for weeks. I went through many emotions deciding what I want to take for my junior year. I talked to upperclassmen, my teachers, my parents and all of them recommended different classes. Having an idea of my main courses, I talked to my counselor and set those in stone, now it was simply choosing electives. This can be the hardest part about planning ahead. In my case, I have been taking newspaper my sophomore year but could not find space in my schedule due to my baseball period and a business class I want to take. I still wanted to stay involved, so I talked to my teacher and worked out a way where I can still compete in competitions, while taking my other electives. 

When deciding whether or not to take a class, imagine yourself in the school and in the class for a year. You want to make sure that you can have fun in that class while challenging yourself. High school is supposed to be a place where you can explore different paths and careers, and take advantage of the wide variety of opportunities you have for these four years. Never restrict yourself because of what other people said they enjoyed or that you should take. Sit down and go through the classes you are interested in. See if you can imagine yourself having fun and growing as a person because of the decision you made. While taking advice from other people can help widen your search, ultimately it is up to you. Just like my elective dilemma, I talked it out and found a solution. 

Academic pressure is also something that I had a hard time with. Although I chose my core classes early on, I had those planned for close to two years before that point, but I did still have to make decisions. While your parents do have a huge part in deciding whether a course is good for you or not, it is of utmost importance to be open and honest with them. Maybe you think that Advanced Placement [AP] course they want you to take will tank your GPA a little too much, or that the level class they told you about will be too easy. Whatever it is, you are the one who ultimately has to take that class and you are the one who knows your limits. You will want to push yourself while also being realistic on whether you can handle certain courses. But when looking at it from afar, there is no reason to stress or burn yourself out looking at all the choices. Take a deep breath and make the best decision for you and your academic career. It is your life and you are in control.