Electives should mimic students’ interests

Anna Jensen, Opinion Editor

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As students get older, their schedules  begin to open up and they have the opportunities to take electives of their choosing.

Electives are any classes that are not required to graduate. While students are expected to take a certain number of electives, they have a choice in which they take. People choose electives based on a variety of reasons, including GPA and genuine interest.

It is important to take electives that will either benefit students in their prospective major, or will help them better understand the adult world.

Unfortunately, not all students take this to heart when choosing their electives. Electives shouldn’t necessarily be the easiest class, but what will help the student in the long run.

“Electives should be used to explore,” said career and tech teacher Diane Keuth. “In high school, electives are free, whereas in college they are expensive. It is better to learn what you like and don’t like in high school so you can begin to focus in college.”

Some of these electives include AP Psychology, Current Issues, Microsoft Applications, Foods, Theater and others that pertain to a student’s intended major.

There are a lot of electives offered at GCHS that are often times overlooked because they are a regular level class, according to Keuth.

“Students sometimes won’t take the class based off what it might do to their GPA,” said Keuth. “Honors and AP classes meet the need students are looking for.”

Many rigorous senior schedules mimic this statement.

Seniors Hannah Dwinell, Bryn Carroll, Sarah Wasik and Matt Osterndorf have a schedule with all AP classes.

Wasik enjoys the rigor of the AP courses, but also takes them in attempts to keep her high GPA.

“[I took all AP classes] because I wanted  to challenge myself, and the college credit is nice,” said Wasik. “I like AP classes over [regular] classes. However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend [taking all AP classes].”

Keuth believes that kids know their own minds fairly well, and oftentimes make the right decisions when it comes to choosing their classes.

“Although GPA and grades are important, kids need a reason to come to school every day,” said Keuth. “They should enjoy the teacher or the subject. In the end, they are picking their jobs, so they should have the right to choose enjoyable and profitable classes too.”

Some students find an appropriate course load balance while choosing electives.

Carroll is taking AP Physics C this year after taking AP Physics B. She took it as an elective at first, but has found that it is a class she thoroughly enjoys and is good at. Now she has decided to major  in engineering.

While her schedule is fully filled, she still finds time to participate in classes she enjoys like Band and AP French.

Although all four of these seniors are taking classes they enjoy or have found a genuine interest in, there are certain electives they wish they would have taken.

“I would have loved to have taken Foods or AP Human Geography,” said Dwinell. “I feel like most of the electives I’ve taken were to fill the graduation requirement, but the AP electives have helped me get used to the rigor and difficulty of college courses.”

Many of the popular electives fill up each year because of word of mouth, according to social studies teacher Christopher Brady.

“Social studies electives usually fill up pretty fast,” said Brady. “We love the exposure. Classes like Psychology and Sociology are always full.”

As long as students are taking classes that push them intellectually and that they enjoy, there is no wrong electives to take.

The problem occurs when kids take a class because they know they can slack off, sleep or get an easy “A.”

This can be resolved, though, by recognizing that there are many classes offered at GCHS that can be just as important and beneficial as an AP class; sometimes they are just buried under the AP reputation.

 

 

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Electives should mimic students’ interests