Take the classes you want to take, says Clouseau

Take the classes you want to take, says Clouseau

By Josh Denicoff

I am writing this for all of you kids still in high school. In my high school career I made the mistake of allowing my friends to convince me to take classes they thought would be “good for me” and that taking a bunch of hard classes is worth it for the grade. I’m here to tell you it isn’t and don’t let anyone influence your decision making when choosing courses.

Having the ability to take classes that are optional and choosing between so many different class levels makes designing your schedule more difficult. There are regular, honors and AP level courses offered. Regular classes are easy, but they don’t look great on transcripts. Honors classes are in the middle; they are somewhat difficult and look somewhat good on transcripts. Finally, AP classes are the most difficult and the best looking on transcripts, but you kill yourself most of the time over them.

I know most students get fed the idea that taking AP classes and doing “ok” in them is the same as taking honors and regular classes and doing great in them. Let’s be real here people; a “B” is not the same as an “A”. Working your butt off and getting a good grade feels great, but working a little bit less hard and get a better grade feels much better and is much less stressful.

Like many other kids in my position, right now I am trying to figure out what I want to do and be in this world we all call home. For a while, I thought I wanted to be a doctor (yes, I know I am talking about not over-exerting yourself and this is a bit hypocritical, but that is beside the point), so I wanted to prepare myself for it by taking some classes. I decided taking Anatomy would be a good idea for learning about the body. The class was not too difficult and I learned about the body. My friend also recommended that I take AP Biology. He said, “It would look good for college” and would “help me out.”  Huge mistake. Class level is all about the person taking the class and not what the class will give you.

I took a class that required more effort and brainpower that I had to offer. After about two weeks, I freaked out because the amount of work I had was insane, I didn’t understand anything, and I was on the verge of tears. That is what happened in my case when I took a class I didn’t “choose.” To everyone who thinks they need to “keep up with the Joneses” to feel on the same level as everyone else in the school, I say you are making a big mistake. Don’t let your friends or the school convince you to take classes you can’t handle.

The thing I find wrong with asking someone else about what classes to take is they are not you. Other people do not know what your interests are, how much time you are willing to put into your work, or even how smart you are. I know at CHS we are pushed to take high-level classes, but not everyone functions at the level required to take the classes. The person who knows you the best is you.

If you do decide to take classes that you can’t handle, the only person you are competing with is yourself. Challenging yourself is great, but putting too much on your plate will not end well. Trust me.