A guide to course selection; strive for enjoyment


Infographic by Margot Richlin '23

Course selection can be very stressful and students often take classes they feel look good on their transcripts. However, taking classes of genuine interest is much more beneficial and engaging.

Throughout the past three years of high school, I have found myself struggling to decide which courses I want to take for the following year during course selection. As a current senior, I have been reflecting upon some of my decisions when it comes to course load, and I would like to give advice to all students on which classes are a must. 

First and foremost, everyone always says to choose classes you are genuinely interested in rather than classes that will look the best on your transcript; while this advice seems cliché, it is some of the best you will receive. Though it is easy to become caught up in the social pressures of taking the most rigorous course load, taking classes you find interesting will not only be more rewarding but much more engaging. However, with that being said, I believe that there are certain classes that are very valuable for high school students to take. 

Personal Finance is the first class I would recommend to everyone who is eligible. I am not a math person and probably never will be, but this class has taught me more useful information in a semester than I could have imagined. The class focuses on preparing upperclassmen for life after high school by teaching financial literacy and helping students to understand the responsibilities of living independently. Walking into the class, I had limited knowledge of finance and I was intimidated by the syllabus and content we were going to learn. As I’m nearing the end of the semester, I can confidently say that I understand the basics of personal finance and have access to so many tools and resources to reference in the future. 

If I could go back in time, I would have definitely tried to enroll in more courses that sparked my interest rather than classes I felt I needed to take to benefit my transcript.”

— Margot Richlin

During my time at Staples, I have taken both Pottery and Watercolor to fulfill my art credits. Although I typically enjoy drawing, I had no experience in both pottery and watercolor but still found the classes extremely fun. With all of the stress of high school, having an interactive class was a great break during the day. Pottery was one of my favorite classes I have taken and was a great way to challenge myself in a new artistic medium. Even though fine arts are a requirement, the classes are not demanding but rather rewarding, and I advise that you keep an open mind even if with a lack of artistic background. 

If I could go back in time, I would have definitely tried to enroll in more courses that sparked my interest rather than classes I felt I needed to take to benefit my transcript. Although it is hard to fit in electives with the required courses, I would encourage all students to take advantage of the wide variety of courses offered by the school by thoroughly considering which courses will serve them most as a student AND a person.