How tough should seniors make their schedules?

Courtesy+of+Amanda+Rohde

Courtesy of Amanda Rohde

Ethan Babicz

As senior Ari Saez looked at her class registration page, a smile crept across her face. Her senior year schedule was complete, and it was perfect. Some days she would not have to come into school at all with her blended schedule. It was just what she was looking for: a free schedule for her senior year to take the load of school off her mind and focus on college.

At the same time, senior Ian Faber looked at his class registration page and smiled. His schedule was perfect as well. AP and honors classes loaded his schedule, filling it with rigor. It was just what he was looking for: a loaded schedule that keeps with the difficulty he had throughout his high school career. Colleges would look at this with much respect for him.

Many juniors struggle with the decision of how difficult they should make their senior schedule. Some people would rather have a relaxed schedule so they can have fun while others would rather accept the challenge of taking more AP and honors classes in order to better prepare themselves for college. But what is the best plan for incoming seniors on how to make their schedules? 

Well, the answer is that it depends. Some seniors have loved that they made their schedules as relaxed as they did. “It gives me a lot more time to work and actually have a job or if I wanted to do sports, I have more time to do that, so in reality, I would really recommend this for all incoming seniors,” Saez said. This type of schedule would free up a lot of time to focus on other important things besides school, such as working on college applications, scholarships, or even sports that require a large time commitment. 

On the other hand, some seniors have loved their schedules filled with challenging classes. “If you want to challenge yourself or learn something pretty cool, like using one of the more advanced classes, then I would say go for it,” Faber said. This type of schedule would demand more effort, but pay off with a great look for colleges who want to see a rigorous schedule. 

However, at the end of the day, there is not a one-size-fits-all package for every student. Their future would determine the rigor of their senior schedule. “There’s more than one right choice,” said Laura Martens, College and Careers counselor. “So, if you’re trying to get into a selective school, you want to keep up with your AP and honors classes. You want to be able to challenge yourself because what I’ve seen from seniors is that if they challenge themselves in their senior classes, they get more done. They stay on top of things more. If they have what they would consider a super-easy schedule and they don’t have a lot that they have to do, they get a lot less done and all they do is think about how they want to graduate.”

So, although a more relaxed schedule can be better for a student’s sanity and a more challenging schedule will look better on a college application, it all depends on what each student needs to do to best prepare themselves for their future.