Elective choices unjustly determined by college appeal

Lauren Frias, co-a&e editor

We are born and bred to believe that doing well in school and showing academic prowess will get us far in life. Students challenge themselves daily to take as many advanced classes as possible, under the impression that these classes will bulk up their college resumes. By doing so, they ignore potential elective choices they have available to them; they are more concerned with earning a good grade than searching for an activity they actually enjoy.

My freshman year, my schedule comprised of mainly honors level academic classes. The trend followed me until second semester of my sophomore year. My inclination held fast with me throughout the years of high school until I stand here now as a second semester junior, my schedule packed with classes that I need to take to graduate versus ones that I wanted out of interest.

My memories of past school years are filled with bored doodles on notes that never made sense to me and educational films that I would nod consciously and unconsciously through. I was the cliche naive freshman that took as many advanced classes as I could to ensure that I would get into a good college and thus having a good future.

At my middle school graduation, people kept telling me to look forward to the best four years of my life; that high school would be comprised of times I would never forget. Though most of the memories were made outside of school, few good memories could be found within school.

With only two full semesters left in my high school career, I look back and realize that I shouldn’t have dropped that art class or that photography class just to make room in my schedule for advanced classes that I never enjoyed. I never let my high school years live up to be the “best four years of my life”. I was able to build an impressive resume but not able to explore different passions that I had that South conveniently provided classes for: cooking, ceramics, television and more.

I was lucky to find a passion early on when I signed up for journalistic writing and became involved with the Oracle, but I can’t help but imagine how differently my life would have panned out if I took other electives in my time at South. I could have developed a talent in painting or ceramics, or I could have found intrigue in broadcasting.

It’s understandable that you have to work hard to get into certain competitive colleges. But it doesn’t make sense to pursue classes that you don’t enjoy simply because it looks better on your transcript. There is no guarantee that that honors or AP class that you’re reluctantly taking will get you into an Ivy League school or become successful in whatever you want to do. Instead, why not find what you love to do early, then use your time in high school to not only keep enjoying it but also develop your talent in it?

Use what happened to me as an example of what not to do. Freshman, sophomores: you all still have time to make high school the best that it can be. Take classes that you’re interested in, and drop the ones that you think you would be more compelled to fall asleep in than learn.

Even to the current juniors: we still have two more semesters left of our high school career. Sign up for the art class you thought you weren’t skilled enough for, the computer science class you thought you weren’t smart enough for, any class that you didn’t think you should take but wanted to. It isn’t too late to start pursuing a passion, not just a degree.