Course Selection: A Complete Perspective


By Ella Tackett

The 2022-2023 school year is rapidly approaching, and everyone knows what that means; it’s course selection time. Course selection can be very stressful for students, adding to an already demanding time of year. The abundance of options is overwhelming for many, as well as the delicate balancing act of graduation requirements, electives, and AP and Honors courses.


Incoming Senior:

Senior year is arguably the most exciting year of high school, so picking classes for it is equally as exhilarating as it is intimidating.

“Since I’m ahead in credits, senior year is going to be a laid-back year for me, but because of that I’m going to challenge myself with the classes I’m taking,” said junior Alexa Schueller. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing schedules, such as getting out before lunch, zero periods, and AP classes. Many seniors want to leave school early, which explains why zero periods often fill up quickly. 

“I heard that it’s hard to get a zero period because every senior wants to do it since they can just do zero period then one, two, three and get out after third period,” Schueller said. 

“When you only have four classes and get out at 11:00 a.m. with a zero period, or even 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m., then you have a lot of time throughout the whole day to still do all your AP work or go to your job or hang out with friends. It’s nice when your whole day isn’t taken up by school,” stated Schueller.


Incoming Junior:

Junior year of high school is decidedly the most important, seeing as the grades from this year is what is most commonly looked at by colleges.

The number of AP classes that students take is a delicate balance between trying to look good on college applications and trying not to take on too much at one time: “I’m scared to take too many AP classes next year; I don’t want it to ruin my grades,” said sophomore Kennedi Kerins.

Incoming juniors complete course selection after incoming seniors, which means many don’t get into the most popular classes. Zero periods and art classes commonly fill up quickly. “I want a zero period so I can leave early… the traffic right after school is horrible,” said sophomore Celina Jiang.

For the most stressful year of high school, the course selection to prepare for it is understandably very demanding as well. “Oh my gosh, course selection is so, so stressful,” said sophomore Tatum Topacio.


Incoming Sophomore:

Freshmen this year have never done course selection in person before, and it is an entirely new and taxing experience. “I think it can be a very stressful time because students are indecisive and they can feel pressured to take classes that aren’t fit for them,” said freshman Tristin Cassidy Rodriguez.

With many students taking AP classes for the first time in their sophomore year, there is a lot of anxiety during course selection to make the decisions that are right for each individual student.

“Course selection scares me because I don’t know what classes are what… and then there’s so many classes, and people are like ‘Hey you should take this AP class, and this one, and this one,’ and so I’ve got this stack of AP classes to take,” said freshman Jacqueline Saltz.


Incoming Freshman:

Course selection for current 8th graders is particularly difficult seeing as they really don’t know what to expect. It’s a new and intimidating experience that can be very overwhelming.

“I kind of have it planned out, I’m in both honors classes for ELA and math so I’ll probably just continue that,” said Phoebe Nuyen, who will be a freshman at SMHS next year. “I don’t know about anything else though.”

Without prior experience of completing course selection, doing so can be difficult and confusing. The abundance of options can be daunting, and even with guidance, it is a lot to process.

The pressure of setting up your high school career for success can be tough to handle, but luckily the counselors at SMHS are eager to help out. It is reassuring to know that the staff here care immensely about every student and want them to succeed.

If you have questions about course selection, you can find contact information for your counselor at: