Is it too early for students to pick next year’s classes?

It’s that time of year when students are selecting courses they will take next year. Should students have to choose their courses so early?

By Samantha Gershuny

At a highly competitive school like Byram Hills, many feel it is imperative to be a part of as many advanced courses and elective classes as possible. When choosing classes many are not thinking about how much they enjoy the course or the outcome of choosing these extremely arduous classes, but rather how it will look to colleges. It all comes down to spending enough time learning about the best classes for you.

After only one semester of attending high school; for a freshman, or for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, it may be extremely stressful for students to fill out their course requests and choose electives for the upcoming school year. Students have not had the opportunity to find their passions and create a clear path for what will inspire them the most. For freshmen, schedules are not very flexible, rather you are taking the same classes as all of your peers, except for your elective classes. You have not had a chance to fully see what will fulfill your interests due to this. After one full year, you have taken either two or three course electives which can help set a foundation for what you find most interesting. According to Freshman Ella Javorsky, “We are forced to make a decision from a brief paragraph that explains a class. We need more time to make these important decisions. We need to be more educated about the pathways our learning can take.” More specifically, the decisions we make in high school steer the path for our future careers in college and beyond. Only half a year does not provide students with enough knowledge to pick their classes. 

After two semesters, a student will feel more comfortable with deciding the classes that will suit them best. Talking to teachers, making sure you don’t overwork yourself, and choosing your interests are all factors that need to be taken into consideration. Without finishing a full year of courses you may become influenced to do what your friends are doing or what you think looks good, but you will only do your very best when you choose what you love and show a strong passion for that class. Freshman Aliza Hammond shares that in her opinion, it was very hard to choose what classes will be right for her without finishing this school year yet. She continues by stating, “As it is only January, many students are unable to predict what classes they will desire to take next September.” We are not informed enough about each class to decide our schedules so far in advance. Passion is the most important aspect of decision making, therefore choosing a class because you feel you need it to get into a good college is not beneficial for yourself or the other students in your class who are truly eager to learn. By giving students more time to decide their classes, there is a brighter future for Byram Hills students and all will feel their high school career allowed them to explore all they were interested in.

Overall it may be good to start looking ahead and make decisions early in the year, but it is important to take the time to think about what courses interest you the most. Your friends, teachers, and parents may all have suggestions for what they feel is best for you, but in the end, it is all up to you to choose classes that will further enhance your zest for learning.