Choosing classes is a game of chance


Graphic by Grace Foley ’18

There’s only one reading assignment that I’ve gotten in all of high school that I’ve actually been excited to start, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that it wasn’t chapter one of my Biology textbook.

When course catalogs are passed out, it immediately sparks both the excitement of having countless opportunities and the stressful uncertainty of not knowing what each class will hold.

There are many factors that determine how enjoyable a class will be, and there’s no real way to tell from only reading the short blurb that is given under each course title.

When many students arrange their schedules, they do so with the mindset of trying to have the lightest workload possible while still appealing to colleges. With this being the priority, students often turn to their friends to figure out which higher level classes will require the least amount of effort while still allowing them to succeed.

The challenge is that every student has a different idea of what is easy and what is difficult.

When deciding what classes to take next year, you shouldn’t necessarily trust the kid who happens to be a double legacy to Stanford and is a shoe-in to get accepted to Princeton. And even if the person you’re asking is of the same intelligence level as you, there are still several other factors that can change the level of difficulty.

The teacher you get has a huge effect on almost every aspect of the class that you take. In fact, some students will do just about anything to switch around their schedules to get the teachers they want, even when the guidance department tries to avoid this. Not only can the teacher make a better learning environment, but the work load, test difficulty and extra credit opportunities can all change based on this one variable.

The course curriculum can also change from year to year, throwing a curveball that no one expects. The class that is considered the “easiest AP” one year can quickly fl ip to being one of the hardest without any warning.

The best way to ensure that your classes won’t be completely dreadful is to choose a subject that you’re interested in. If you value the information that you’re learning, sometimes the best classes can be the ones that challenge you.