Course Recommendations for Seniors

Ms. Hoetzlein-
Sirman-HHS Teacher of the Year

Ms. Hoetzlein- Sirman-HHS Teacher of the Year

Joe Nowak

First, my best wishes to those in the Junior class, you will need them. At this point, you are well entrenched into the latter half of high school, and to tell you that life gets any easier would be a lie. The internal war between your attention span and workload is only going to intensify from now on. But don’t despair.  You probably have a lot of questions regarding next year, and I have answered a few that I think are valuable for the last year of high school.

Should I take a full schedule next year?

            Unfortunately, you should. If you look to attend a four-year school after high school, a full schedule is recommended for Senior year. Colleges seem to enjoy when their incoming students work themselves half to death all four years of high school, so taking rigorous classes next year is your best bet at impressing admissions counselors.

How many AP classes should I take next year?

            Take only as many as you think you can handle. Do not give the College Board $500 to take five AP tests if you want your mental health to be intact next year. AP classes are not as valuable as they are chalked up to be. Colleges would rather you do well in an honors course or an elective than do poorly in an AP class. If you can handle the workload, take as many as you want, but know that the college application process is an important and time-consuming experience.

How do I balance workload from Senior year with the college application process?

Do not overwhelm yourself with an unbearably rigorous schedule. Serious time is to be set aside to complete applications, and you will really want some free time to relax and slow down next year. Setting up intervals on weekends to complete the Common Application and then each college’s personal and supplemental essays throughout the course of the year is essential. Make sure you know when each application is due and start each well before they must be submitted. Writing an essay, the night it is due, is not good for you or your application. Have your essays reviewed by friends or family well before you send them in, one grammatical error can put a stain on how a college sees you (which is unfair, but true).

Do grades matter in senior year?

Yes, very much so. If you are planning on attending college, you will want to keep up the hard work into your senior year. Mid-year reports indicate to a college how motivated you are to do well in school, which will be a large factor in determining admission into certain schools. Senioritis is real, but do not let it put you into a slump.

The fact is, life gets harder, but that does not mean you cannot make the best of it. Setting yourself up for success through scheduling and time management will prove immensely valuable for your future self. Although daunting, senior year is the last step before journeying off into the rest of your life. Managing your schedule and mental health moving forward is your best bet on becoming a more productive and well-rounded person.