Thinking Ahead: Course Selection

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By Emily Milgrim

With January now behind us and first semester a distant memory, it’s time to start thinking forward to next year. From fifth graders making language and music selections for Weber to high school juniors, February and March are the time to think about course selection for next Fall. Even for the youngest of students, it’s difficult to decide what path to take.
These are some things to consider as you mull over your options for the next year:

1. Know Yourself.
Courses should always be selected based on your interests. Know what you like and what you will enjoy learning, be happy to study, and might excite you! Don’t choose a course just because your bestie might be sitting in the seat next to you. Follow your heart. Knowing yourself also means knowing how much you can handle. Some of us thrive on a challenge, while others become more easily overwhelmed. wDon’t overload yourself with all of the hardest options if you know it will cause you more stress. Knowing yourself is crucial to making the best course selections for you.

2. Ask Questions.
If you are a fifth grader considering language or music options, ask older siblings, family friends and kids in the community about it. (Parents, you can ask questions too.) Try to find out what might be best for you. It’s a commitment and you should do what you can to find out what you can before making your choice. If you’re in middle school or high school, it also helps to ask people who have recently taken the class. Asking teachers and guidance counselors who know you and your style is always a good idea.

3. Go with your gut.
You and your parent know yourself best. If you think a course might not be right for you, forget it! I am all for challenging myself, but if it doesn’t sit well with you, it’s probably not the best choice.

4. Look at the bigger picture.
When considering your options, think about the whole picture. Don’t just think about your school day, but also about what your whole day, week, month and year look like. Do you have activities after school every day? Are you also working a part-time job? Do you plan to participate in a sport? Think about all of your obligations when selecting your course schedule. The big picture will also help you to determine the right choice for you.
Teachers and guidance counselors are always a good sounding board when it comes to course selection, so make sure you talk to them. With the right amount of introspection and support you are sure to make great choices in selecting your path forward. Guess what? Even if it doesn’t work out for you, there’s usually a time period where you can make changes.

Emily Milgrim is a student at Schreiber High School

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