Advice for Registration


Anna Manthei, Editor

It’s that time of the year again, and class registration for next year is coming up. For many, deciding which classes to take can be a real challenge, and each year students go on to regret some of their choices as they begin their senior and even junior years. As a junior currently deciding which classes to take for my senior year, I have compiled some of the tips I have learned throughout high school to pick the best classes, as well as advice to avoid the mistakes I wish I hadn’t made.

My first word of advice for next year’s freshmen and sophomores is to challenge yourself. AP and honors classes are difficult, however, they are not impossible. Hearing “college-level course” can be daunting, but it is important to remember that despite their increased difficulty, these are still high school classes, designed for high school students, only with a college-level curriculum. College semesters are generally shorter, so your AP classes have more time to cover content than professors will in college. If you are on the fence about whether or not to take an advanced course, take the chance, and you might be surprised! These classes are weighted, which means if you take an advanced class in a subject you already excel in, and do well, your GPA will get a significant boost. This also means that receiving a lower grade in one of these classes will not necessarily harm your GPA as much as it might in a non-weighted class. This leads to my second piece of advice, which is to identify and capitalize on your academic strengths and interests. If you love history, take an AP history class. You’ll hear plenty of people discussing how difficult these classes are, and they absolutely can be, but if this is already a subject you enjoy and do well in, challenge yourself and play into that academic strength!

Another word of advice is to plan your classes ahead of time. Although you may change your mind year to year, it is still a good idea to have a plan as you go along. Consistency is key, and once you choose a certain course, you are likely to be stuck in the natural progression of that course, be it college prep, honors, or AP. The same goes for fine arts and PE classes with regard to consistency. Sticking to a single fine art throughout high school is an excellent show of dedication that many colleges will appreciate when it comes time for applications. 

My final recommendation is to simply ask questions. Ask every question you can think of to as many people as possible because you’ll likely get different answers depending on who you talk to. Ask about options for classes outside of school (like community college classes and summer school), ask for advice on which classes to take when, and which classes colleges may value more. Don’t be afraid to schedule a meeting at the college and careers center, or with your counselor, to find out what might be best for you. Talking to upperclassmen is another great way to figure out which classes you want to take because they likely know the teachers you will have, and therefore are likely to know the coursework better than the adults you go to for advice. In the end, however, trust your instincts over all else. You know your own capabilities better than your counselor, your friends, and your parents, and the classes you take are ultimately your choice. That being said, remember my advice and set yourself up for success in the future!