Course selection in full swing


Kayla Dobyns and Courtney Moul

Colorful papers are illuminating the dull halls again, signifying that course selection is upon the underclassmen. Confused students can be found sweating on these papers that will map out their future. Questions about which classes to take can be overheard as persistent underclassmen ask their teachers for advice. The time for course selection has come, and with it, teen angst. Freshman Colin Boyd said, “If you mess up you are screwed for the rest of your life.” Although it might not be as dramatic as that, many students, like Boyd, are feeling pressured to make the right decisions when it comes to choosing a pathway, and pathway-associated courses. In fact, many students don’t feel like they are prepared to make these important choices or prepared for their future simply because they don’t know what they want to do after high school. The problem for some students begins when they have to choose a pathway. Senior, Anna Sweger, said, “I think they’re limiting because how many freshmen know exactly what they want to do later in life. I don’t think we should pick pathways until eleventh grade, if at all.” Freshman, Emily Stambaugh, is faced with the exact problem described by Sweger. Stambaugh said, “I have no idea what I’m gonna do in five years.”

Those unfortunate students who decide to change pathways during high school may not be able to take as many classes pertaining to their career as they would have liked to. Junior, Jared Gump, said, “You aren’t really sure in your first couple years [about careers and pathways], then say in your senior year you want to do something else, then you can’t take as many classes in that [new pathway] that you want to.” Students who change their career aspirations in high school may find that the pathway electives they took early on will be of no help to their future, and makes it difficult to complete the requirements for their new pathway.

Nearly everyone agrees that the course selection process is important, even if it may need some improvement. Junior, Tucker Brough, urged underclassmen to think hard about course selection. He said, “Really put a lot of thought into what you want to do so you’re in the right pathway, like you’re not just in some random classes that aren’t going to help you.” Counselor Jocelyn Kraus recommended that students look at the bigger picture when choosing classes. She said, “You are essentially mapping out your four years. Pay attention to the classes that you want to complete during your time here and how they can fit into those four years. It costs you nothing to take classes here, but will cost you thousands in a college environment.”

Although it is important to take courses that may benefit one’s major or future career, Principal Bill August advised not to overlook classes outside of one’s pathway. August said, “Make sure you are pursuing your passions, even if they’re in a different pathway. Don’t shrink away from a challenge.” He encourages students to take this advice when carefully selecting their future classes. After all, “You really only get one shot at this.”