Frustration on Registration

The difficulty of balancing interests and the pressures of taking hard classes

Catherine Barry, Staff Writer

Concerned students’ faces rush around to find their deans during the time frame of the few weeks when course registration is open. They desperately attempt to select classes while taking into account their interests and the ‘harder’ classes such as APs and Honors they wish to take.

Choosing classes for the next school year can be a very challenging and stressful task for students. We all want to think that we only select classes based on our interests, yet many tend to pick ones based on ‘what looks best on a college application.’

The desire to pick the most rigorous course load just because it ‘looks good,’ is the root of most stress students tend to face when going through the process of selecting classes. Shungu Zimbwa ‘22 says, “What stresses me out the most about course selection is what my parents will think about the classes I am going to choosing because they want me to take the hardest ones that look the best on college applications.” Even freshman are stressing over what classes will suffice both their parents and the college admissions, which causes them to forfeit their ability to choose courses that interest them.

At such an academically rigorous school, there is already competitiveness between students to see who can or is taking the most challenging courses as well as who is performing better. Students perpetually compare themselves to others regarding grades, classes, friends, and sports, which only adds to the stress and anxiety students already feel when selecting courses. This constant pressure to perform well in school among other activities can lead students to become perfectionists, making them more vulnerable to depression and suicidal thoughts.

While some students like, junior, Isa Chenitz ‘20 looks at finding new interests when choosing courses, “Going into junior year I was definitely looking to take ‘harder’ classes, but as for next year, as I am looking for classes that spark my interest and ones that will guide me to what I want to focus and major on in college.” Kyra Reese ‘21 uses a similar method when choosing classes as she says, “I choose my classes based on my interest level in them, because I know if I am more interested in the class, I know that I will pay more attention and do better in them.” The most stress when it comes to picking classes for students derives from the pressure from family and college counselors, all trying to find the balance between a rigorous course load and the student’s passions.

Selecting classes shouldn’t be as stressful of a process as students make it out to be by comparing themselves with others, neglecting to think of their own passions, and giving in to the pressure from others. To reduce stress from course registration, students should select classes more based on their interests and less based on its name and if it will look “good” on a college application. This way, students will retain more information from their classes, enjoy school more, and find what classes they might want to further pursue in college.