Should I take classes that are hard, and will prep me for college and career, or should I wait for college to teach me what I need to know, and take fun classes in high school? So that way I'm not so stressed with athletics, extracurriculars, and my job? #college#education#high-school#student#school#gpa
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ATO Development Coach AT&T
Great question I believe it depends on what you really want to focus on. I think you can still have fun in high school and also take harder classes as well. I would suggest to start taking classes for college as I waited and could of been way ahead in college if I took more college classes in high school. Note having some college classes that you complete in high school could help you get into a bigger college if that is what you are choosing. Hopefully this helps.
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Director, Customer Enablement Consultants
What a complex question to answer. It has been a long time since I was in high school (which was both fun and a nightmare for me), as a parent of kids finishing high school now I find it seems to be similar for them. When in high school, I remember thinking that I knew everything, no one understood ME, all this stuff is so important. About a week into college for me and I forgot all about high school, new friends, new experiences, and the whole world became a lot less about me as I experienced more and gained a new perspective. Now college is not always everyone's next step, but I find that everything post high school has mattered more to who I am today than high school did.
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Technical Consulting Engineer
Durham, North Carolina
Personally I would take the harder classes in high school especially in the areas that relate to the major you think you would choose in college. This will get you prepared for the higher workload in college and potentially you may be able to enter college with an advantage earlier on. There are requirements to graduate college that you may be able to get out of the way in high school. For example since I took several foreign language classes in high school I didn't need to take any more in college for my degree. If you are worried about taking fun classes the amount of choices in college will most likely outnumber the choices you have in high school.
Your question assumes a binary answer of yes or no. High school should be both fun and hard. I am a believer in balance. Take the time to enjoy life experiences at all stages. If you spend your entire time studying to pass classes then you will miss out on memories built with friends. On the flip side if you spend too much time having fun then you may hurt your future prospects.
Do you have some classes in mind already that you want to take or a particular career path? Either way, there is more to life and career success than just education. Granted you will need to have some specific skills/knowledge to gain regardless of whatever job field you end up in, but having varied life experiences to draw against will serve you will to be successful as well.
Finally from me personally, I decided specifically not to take certain AP classes in high school. I ended up not needing them in college. It gave me the ability to work part-time and reduced the amount of stress I had.
If you haven't already, take the time to think about what careers or job fields interest you. If possible find areas to either take short online courses (Coursera, Udacity, Khan Academy) on related topics to see how you like the material. Also look for volunteer opportunities. Law Enforcement offer ride-alongs. Hospitals typically allow you to intern (it would be terrible if you wanted to be a nurse or doctor only to find you can't stand the sight of blood).
Review your time commitments. How much of a daily or weekly commitment would you need for volunteering, studying for a specific class, or playing a sport? Make sure you give yourself enough time to rest and recharge else you will burn out.
I say do both. You can take challenging courses one semester then take easier classes the next. The most important thing to do is to sit down with your guidance counselor to make sure that you have enough credits for graduation. You don't want to slack off and take easier classes all four years just to find out you can't graduate because you didn't satisfy the math or language requirement.
I believe that it's important to have fun while you're still young but you have to learn to balance everything out. Don't party too hard but don't get stressed out over grades and your career either. Once you figure out what you want to do for a career and what you want to major in, you'll be able to determine which classes in high school you should take to better prepare you for success. The fun classes can be the fillers at the end. For example, my daughter is a junior in high school and by the end of this school year, she will have taken all of her tough classes so for her senior year, her schedule will be consist of easier and more relevant classes for her career.