Every spring, students go to their guidance counselors and sign up for classes. In my school you have to take gym all four years, and then have a certain numbers of credits in math, science, history, and language. In a way this is good because when you get into your senior year you can take more specific courses directed towards what you want to do in college. The problem I see in this is that half of the courses I take, I am never going to apply what I learn.
Right now I am enrolled in eight classes and out of the eight I feel like only two of them will actually help me in the long term. My language arts course will help me for writing and reading, which are both key skills to have in the real world. The only other class that is helpful to me is consumer economics, which is an elective. In this class we learn how to balance a check book and do other important things that someone out in the real world needs to know how to do. The reason I only find these two classes helpful is because I already know what I want to do in college.
In my sophomore year I had decided that I wanted to major in business, mostly sports management or marketing, but somewhere in that field. Now you may be thinking that if I want to major in business that math would be a very important class for me, and it is. The problem is that not everything we learn in my math class is relevant for me to know in business. I am glad I take math so that I can acquire most of the skills I would need for a business major but I wish they would make some of the classes more specific. The thing that really bothers me is my other five classes.
I am forced to take a science, a language, and a history class for at least three out of my four years in high school, and I also have to take gym/health for all four years. I understand requiring kids to take these classes if they are not sure what they want to major in, but for someone like me, taking these classes are a waste and can even hurt my GPA. Right now I am in physics, which is a difficult subject. I have been struggling in this class and have been lucky to maintain an A. The only reason I am taking this class is because colleges look for rigor in a student's schedule and physics would show that to a college. Besides that fact, I have zero interest in science, let alone physics. If I had the choice, I would love to take a class that would help me in business or even in life at home.
In eighth grade I took a class called woodworking. Throughout the year we learned how to use different saws, sanders, drills, and paints. We also learned how to use all the machines in the room. To me, this class was very useful to take. I learned things that I would have probably never learned from my dad and I am able to apply these things when I get older. The problem with this class is that they do not have it in any high school that I am aware of. Also, this class and my consumer economics class are both electives, so only the students that choose to take these classes will benefit later from them. High school does not prepare anyone for life in college or even after that. They do not require classes that would help prepare students for the real world like Consumer Economics, and they require classes that a lot of students only take because they are forced to. If a high school wanted to be more effective they would require classes that would help kids in the long run, and also let kids pick a core group of classes that are specific to what they want to learn. Sure, they can still require gym/health, and language arts classes but let the student have a bigger say in what they learn.