Schedule for Success

5 tips for how to schedule the best possible senior year


photo by Samantha Solenday

Juniors who have any questions or concerns about scheduling should not only visit their counselors — they should also meet up with seniors who know the building better.

Samantha Solenday, Assignments Editor

The second semester is in full swing, but everyone’s thoughts are already on next year. Many seniors have applied or committed to what’s next, whether that is college, trade school, or a job, and the juniors are being asked to make scheduling decisions for their senior year.

Everyone has their own thoughts on how to build a proper schedule, but as a self-proclaimed expert in the field, I have my own advice to share.

1.) Take what you need to graduate.

This is obvious, but if you don’t take the mandatory classes, then it’s really hard to enjoy the optional ones. The end goal here is to graduate. If you have any questions on what you need to graduate, consider checking out the Program of Studies or seeing any counselor here at NASH — they know all the requirements, and if there is something they don’t know, they will help you find out.

2.) Weighted classes aren’t everything.

If school stresses you out, then taking five AP classes might not be the best idea. If there are one or two subjects that you are really passionate about and you are up for the challenge, then go for it, but no one is going to feel bad for you when you overload your schedule and then complain about all the work you have to do. You probably also have at least one after-school commitment besides homework, and there is no reason for you to give that up. Time management is an important skill to learn in high school, and unless you are willing to give up sleeping, then it is unlikely that playing three varsity sports and joining all eleven after school clubs that you’re interested in will be feasible unless you drop your AP and Honors count. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a regular level class for a subject you aren’t as strong at or don’t like as much. I’m not advocating for slacking off; I’m saying that you should be self-aware.

3.) Try something new!

You’ll never know if you like a subject area unless you try it. If you’ve never taken an art class in high school, but you have an interest in it, then you should totally do it. Art, music, tech. ed., FCS, and business all have great classes to help you explore what you might want to do after high school, and they also act as a nice break in the day. Even if it’s just because you want a class with limited commitments outside of school, these electives are great. When you look back on your high school experience, some of your favorite memories will come from that obscure elective you took in your senior year just because you could. Additionally, if you are college bound, admissions officers like to see that you are a well rounded student. If all you take are AP sciences, you might lack the hands-on experiences that another student gets in a tech. ed. class or an art class.

4.) Study halls are nothing to be ashamed of.

Some people think that if you take a study hall, then you aren’t challenging yourself enough. Wrong. You’re taking seven other classes during the day, and sometimes a study hall is what allows you to get done some of the excess amounts of homework before you leave the building and head off to one of the countless extracurriculars you’re involved with. Even if you don’t have much work on a given day, you can work ahead or just chill out and surf the Internet for forty minutes. If you’ve met your graduation requirements, there’s no reason you should take another class that might stress you out unless you really want to.

5.) You’re going to be a senior.

Again, I am not advocating for you to slack off during your final year at NA, but keep in mind that you will have other work to do outside of school during the first semester as you apply to colleges or other post-secondary programs, and the during the second semester, you might lack the focus needed to attain a perfect GPA. Of course, you should try your best in everything you do, but you should also factor in that by the spring, your work ethic might not be what it is today. By the end of your junior year, you’ll swear that you never want to be that overworked and stressed again. This won’t work, but you can limit this feeling by choosing more classes that you will enjoy during your senior year since you finally have the room in your schedule.

Senior year can be the most fun year of high school if you make the right scheduling choices. Not everyone is the same, and that is why there are so many variations to each person’s schedule. That being said, I can almost guarantee that each and everyone of you reading this will disregard at least one of these suggestions (please graduate!) in order to pave your path to the future. We each learn through our choices and mistakes, and I have no doubt that next year at this time, some new senior Uproar staffer will be dishing out the same advice as I am, having lived through the experience.

I hope that you make the right decisions for yourself and also that you remember that there is a drop period early in the year if you are really struggling with or hating any particular class. You are all going to do fantastic things in your life, so hopefully, your senior year can be a great start.