Scheduling Hysteria

Juniors, when scheduling your courses, think reasonably

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photo by Valerie Davis

Yes, there are requirements for core classes, but have fun with the scheduling process.

Valerie Davis, Co-Editor-in-Chief

“Should I take AP Chem or AP Physics next year? I mean, I don’t like science, but I feel like I should take an AP science course because it’s another AP class.”

I overheard a junior say this in my Honors Physics class the other day when my teacher was recommending courses for my junior classmates. And it got me thinking. Is this really what juniors are thinking about?

Let me just start off by saying that I am overjoyed by the fact that I do not have to schedule anymore at North Allegheny. Scheduling has always been nothing but frustration and the causation of too much stress. Ever since eighth grade, when all my classmates and I had to schedule our ninth grade classes, I have always dreaded the scheduling process.

But why? Looking back, I regret excessively fretting over all of the Academic, Honors, and AP courses I was going to be in.

Part of the reason I had always found scheduling stressful was all of the peer pressure. Is Jen taking Honors Geometry? Should I take Honors or Academic Pre-Calc? Will earning an A in AP English even be possible while taking other hard classes? These are just a few of the many thoughts I had by comparing myself to others.

It’s funny because none of that matters now. And it is crazy to think it ever took over my life the way it did.

Going into ninth grade, I had all Honors classes on my schedule. In the summer before ninth grade, I thought I was going to go to an Ivy League after high school. In my defense, I had all A’s in middle school, with the exception of an 89% in Pre-Algebra in seventh grade. But that’s a sore subject. Anyway, I thought that taking all Honors was an excellent idea and I could handle whatever obstacle was thrown my way. However, the workload hit me like a truck.

I dropped Honors French for Academic French, and soon after that I dropped Honors American History for regular American history. And it ended up being a wonderful decision. But even taking all Honors other than those classes proved very taxing on me, as I also participated in many extra-curriculars.

I don’t want to go on about all the classes I’ve taken during my high school career, but I want to emphasize that, in the long run, everything will work out as long as you’re pushing yourself and not overworking yourself. And don’t let what other people do influence your decisions.  High school is stressful as it is on your own, as it is filled with many of life’s challenges: friends, family, home life, sports, and really all the other aspects of your life that aren’t school.

As students who attend North Allegheny, we disregard all of the real-life situations we could be thrown into outside of the classroom. ”

I have had many rough patches during my time in high school — most of them caused by my stress level. If I could go back and rethink some of the courses I decided to take, I would. But I can’t, and that’s the way it is.

I think we disregard all of the real-life situations we could be thrown in outside of the classroom. Reality is inevitable — stuff happens in life that we cannot avoid. So I’m here to tell you to not disregard your outside life when scheduling for next year. Think reasonably and take classes that actually interest you, because that’s what really matters.

Last note, and trust me when I say this: colleges will accept you. I’m saying this as someone who genuinely did not think she would get into college. In all honesty, I am an “average” student (by NA standards) and I have taken a mix of Academic, Honors, and AP courses. And guess what, colleges have accepted me. Maybe being “average” isn’t so average after all.

So, as you schedule your senior year, take classes that you want to take. Yes, there are requirements for core classes, but have fun with the scheduling process — because in the long run, will you remember stressing over AP Chemistry or having a really great senior year?