The Freakout of Sophomore Year

The most stressful time of sophomore year is upon us


North Allegheny School District Website

The cover of the 2020-2021 book of studies program listing every single class all high school students can take

The end of the first semester of sophomore’s final year at North Allegheny Intermediate High School has come and it’s the time of the year when all sophomore students are faced with tough decisions that must be decided in a short amount of time. We’re talking about scheduling classes for junior year!

The month of February is filled with conversations constantly consisting of phrases such as “What are you taking next year” or “I need to take all AP classes for college”.  It’s a time where all teachers meet with each of their students individually and give them their recommendations for which class they should take for that specific subject based on their overall grade, GPA, and classwork. If a student wishes to take a class at a higher level that they are recommended for, they are to complete a waiver form and have it signed by a parent/guardian. 

However, students are continuously applying stress on themselves when considering taking Honors or AP classes. They are torn between two objectives: “Will all these advanced classes be too much for me” and “Can I get into the college I want when taking an academic class”. 

But no student can be absolutely sure about their decision until after they choose and experience the class they decided to take. At that time, it’s too late. That’s why NAEye came across four juniors and even a senior at North Allegheny Senior High School to get their input and advice on this particular subject. 

Lucie Flagg (junior):

“Personally, I think that the number one, most important thing when it comes to scheduling is figuring out what career for the future you’re passionate about pursuing, and scheduling based on that. Students always seem to think that taking Honors and AP everything is key to getting into college, but in reality, taking classes like AP Biology will be no help when applying to colleges to be in a field like English. High School is all about balance – taking difficult (AP/Honors) classes is beneficial if they’re going to actually help you in your future, however, don’t feel pressured to take classes you’re too overwhelmed to take just because your friends are taking them or your teachers think you should. In the end, fifteen years from now, your decision back in high school between Academic and AP will be of no importance, so for now, take the classes you want to take.” 

Daniel Schaub (junior):

“For incoming juniors, I believe that you should try to decide what you want to pursue after high school. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, try to narrow it down and schedule classes based off of what you want to do. Also, I would advise that you start a college search (if attending college is what you want to do after high school) and find out what GPAs the colleges that you are applying to are accepting. Then, you can decide how many Honors and AP classes you want to take. Always remember that you can switch out of a class if it is too hard, but also, don’t over-schedule yourself” 

Emma Kim (Junior):

“Don’t worry about taking all AP and honor classes. If you change your mind about it after, you can change your schedule later. If you do decide to take AP classes, do it for classes where you like the subject or want to pursue it in the future. From my experience, the class will be a lot easier you if actually enjoy learning about”

Meg Patterson (Junior):

“I think it’s important to start thinking about college – if you take some APs then you can save money and credits for other classes. However, I think it’s important to consider your mental health. It’s good to challenge yourself so that you’re more prepared for the future, but you shouldn’t be breaking down every other night. Take the classes that feel right to you, and if you get the feeling some of them are too hard, then drop them. Trust me, nobody’s going to judge you. Everybody’s academic strengths and weaknesses are different, so don’t take a hard class just because you want to look smart. You’ll regret it halfway through the year.”

Skylar Rodgers (Senior):

“I believe that taking honors and AP classes are worth it, only if you can handle larger word loads. Truthfully, most honors and AP classes I took were not too challenging at all. However, I know for some people, it can be a nightmare. Nonetheless, they push through and gain many benefits from it. But like I said, sometimes it just depends on which class specifically you are thinking of taking.”

Students nowadays always overthink certain subjects that can impact their future days. They become very concerned that their results in life will not be satisfying enough for them or anyone else. 

 However, in reality, it only matters to that one student and nobody else for everyone is too worried for themselves to worry about other students. In addition, students should not make the decision to overwhelm themselves with all Honors and AP. One or two challenging classes will be just enough for one student.