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Personalizing Your Schedule

Jul 10, 2009
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When transitioning from middle school to high school, how do you decide which classes to take? There are the classes with the big, important names like “college prep” or “advanced.” Then there are the slower paced classes, the easy gym classes, the classes with the crazy teacher…the options go on and on. And really, at that point in your life, do you know what you want to do when you’re older, what you want your major to be in college? Probably not, I know I sure didn’t. I recommend getting the basics-take four years of all academics. Colleges really look at things like that when deciding on admissions. But don’t skimp out and take the easiest level possible. Give yourself a little bit of a challenge. If you’re really strong in English and not so strong in math, take the advanced English class and the average math class. Don’t try to be a superhero and take the advanced level in every subject, you’ll only regret that later down the road. I also suggest taking four years of a language. A common language like Spanish is a good one to take, because it is spoken in many countries. This leaves room for more opportunities such as study abroad in college. After you have all these classes down, then figure out how to fit in the rest. Does art really fascinate you, but the art classes really don’t fit in your schedule? Talk to your counselor about options like dual enrollment. Taking college level classes while also going to high school is a great way to improve your transcript and to get a jump start on how a college class is run. Online classes are also an option. Maybe your gym class only fits in to your schedule at the same time as your foreign language class. Gym isn’t a very easy class to take online, and some schools don’t allow health to be substituted for gym. So, take your foreign language class online. It might be a little more challenging this way, but if you’re really set on choosing which classes you want to take, you have to work around the problems. The main key to being happy with your schedule is working with your counselor and asking about all options that are available. They know all the twists and turns, and if anyone can get inside your schedule and really personalize it for you, it is your counselor. They are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask!

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