Understanding Scheduling Stress



Scheduling season is full of deadlines and difficult decisions.

Hope Bolibruck, Staff Writer

Eighth grade. Some people loved it, some hated it, but I remember a highlight specifically from the time everyone was scheduling their classes for high school.

Running around with those optimistic smiles all over our faces as we filled out the papers saying which classes we would be enrolled in for our upcoming freshman year at NAI. Wish you could go back? Me too.

Scheduling is just not the same today as it was in middle school. For students now, myself included, we are barely even half way through the school year and teachers are already handing out class approval papers, or even worse, calling you back to their desk to discuss your “placement” based on half a year of grades.

Even though it may be important to discuss these topics and inform students of what they should plan to see in the far, far future, it raises an important question: Does scheduling have to cause so much stress?

To answer this question, many things come into play for highschool students.

North Allegheny, the district many have called their school for countless years, is a very academically privileged and well rounded school. The amount of opportunities and range of classes available throughout the high schools is truly amazing to have access to. At NAI, so many more specific and subject targeted classes are offered than the middle schools, but at NASH the spectrum almost doubles in courses students can enroll in.

With all of these amazing opportunities and options for students to choose from, it gets overwhelming for most. Very overwhelming. Looking at the pages and pages upon lists and lists of the classes you can take truly distracts students from what they are actually interested in or care about.

Another factor that plays into the role of stress is worrying about picking the wrong class.

… a majority of students at North Allegheny just truly have absolutely no idea what they want their futures to look like, so they have no idea what classes are best for them.

Now, I am not talking about checking the wrong box off or writing the wrong class in the wrong spot. I am talking about how a majority of students at North Allegheny just truly have absolutely no idea what they want their futures to look like, so they have no idea what classes are best for them.

Personally, I am in that boat. Looking just at all of the science classes I can take creates a whirlwind of thoughts in my head all at once. This one seems lowkey interesting to me but shouldn’t I take this one? Well that one seems super difficult and I would probably hate it, but could it be helpful?

Looking at all of the options creates this idea in students’ heads that they have to choose the exact right classes because, honestly, their whole futures could rely on the decisions they make at that moment. It feels like a make or break decision, like your future is literally on the line.

On top of all of the immense options to be chosen from and not knowing exactly what is best for you as an individual student, we still all have classes this year that we need to focus on.

For myself, I really focus on what my grades are in the first semester because in the back of my mind I remember those grades are what determine my placements for my next school year classes. With this stress already weighing me (and other students) down, adding new thoughts of new classes into the minds of students causes immense emotions for students who are already pre-occupied trying to stay afloat this year already.

It’s enough to make me want to go back to eighth grade…when scheduling was still something to get excited about.