As senior year ends for some and approaches for others, Leesville juniors are faced with a difficult decision about their schedules for next year: To coast their way to the end, or challenge themselves and impress their dream schools.
Always seeking a challenge and a chance to stock up on AP classes, I chose to sign up for tougher classes in an attempt to raise my GPA, both weighted and unweighted. But my studies during senior year will also focus on my interests.
Three years of math and science courses have shown me that for senior year, I should avoid packing my schedule with AP Biology or Chemistry, and my plan for math is to take the class that I’ve heard is easiest for senior year math: Trigonometry.
Adversely, three years of English and social studies classes have led me to the conclusion that I would be better off by loading my schedule with AP English, and a few advanced placement history electives.
John Wolfe, junior, has a similar mindset. “I want to take some more classes [my senior year] that I would be interested in, in relation to my career choice.”
But no rising senior is oblivious to the dangers of senioritis, an ailment that also takes precedence in class choices. “Senioritis” is defined as the “I-don’t-care-anymore” feeling accompanying the realization that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and the freedoms of college are imminent.
The way I see it, there are three options for senior class sign-ups: First, sign up for easier classes so that only minimal work would be required to not trash ones GPA. The second option is to take challenging courses across the board – action typically taken by students that have been working hard every year. Reasoning behind option two is “showing colleges that you’re a hard worker” or making a last effort to boost your GPA.
The third option, and the most commonly seen amongst rising seniors, is taking a mix of hard and easy classes. For those lucky enough to have obtained most of the credits necessary for graduation, there is the luxurious option of not having a first or fourth period class.
“I’ll be taking mostly easy classes,” said Brian Sell, junior. “Because I have worked hard throughout high school and it will be nice to take some easy classes.”
Haley Reconnu, junior, plans to challenge herself in courses that capture her interest. “I’m taking hard classes only in subjects that I know I want to move forward in and taking easier classes to coast through so I can actually enjoy applying myself to the harder classes I do take.”
Other students are taking harder classes their senior year because their junior year was a “trial” to see what workloads they could handle. “I didn’t really know what I could handle going into junior year, so I only signed up for one AP class,” said Meredith Hicks. “Senior year I’ll probably try to take a couple more [AP classes] and a lot of honors [classes].”
But aside from the knowledge of impending senioritis, one should also take into consideration the advice of a guidance counselor. Mrs. Tucker, counselor for students P-S, has noticed a few things about class choices as students have come in for junior conferences. “For many [of our rising seniors] that are looking into competitive colleges, they are choosing to take advantage of many of our AP level courses and honors electives.”
Tucker also recognizes that some students have different plans for after high school, and that some are ready to have an easy time their senior year. “Others [planning on entering the work force or completing the College Transfer Program through Wake Tech] are taking more electives that they are interested in pursuing, like many of our CTE courses. Some are taking advantage of the Early Release/Late Arrival and Early Graduation.”
Wolfe plans to take advantage of the College Transfer Program, with solid reasoning. “During your first three semester of college, you aren’t actually doing much towards your majors; you are mainly working on your college required credits. At a community college, you are taking similar classes that you would at a university, for a fraction of the price. It’s actually a great option if you can put pride aside.”
Online registering for classes begins on March 7 on SPAN. Juniors receive first choice in classes and it is recommended that registration is done quickly after the web portal is opened.
“[Class choices] ultimately depend on the individual student and their goals after high school,” said Tucker.
Virginia Reed is a superb writer and an even better friend. She enjoys unhealthy foods and writing sarcastic articles. Virginia is the Online Editor for the 2011-12 school year and was a Managing Editor for the 2010-11 year but has not forgotten her humble beginnings as a staff writer when she was a wee sophomore. Her goals for the future are to get an A in newspaper and to apply to college in a timely fashion.