By: Sania White
Any previous or current seniors can attest to the struggle for motivation during the second semester of their last year of high school. At this point, college applications are complete, first semester grades are in, and scholarship applications have been sent. Seniors are mentally no longer in high school. What is being taught in the classroom becomes irrelevant as seniors start to question when they are ever going to use anything that they are learning. For example, when will it be necessary to know how to graph logarithms or how to titrate an acid base reaction if the senior is not entering a math or chemistry related major?
In six months, 18 years-olds, who, in most cases, have been sheltered and cared for by their parents, are about to be thrown into adulthood with the exception of being able to handle themselves as professionals. Is this expectation really just?
Wouldn’t it make sense for seniors to receive preparation or helpful advice before jumping into the intimidating world of college? Rather than sitting in a class that isn’t necessarily relevant to a student’s particular major, seniors should be able to take college preparation classes that will teach them how to choose college classes, how to balance one’s social and academic life, money management, and other classes that are more geared toward a student’s specific major. If the senior finishes the semester with a B+ or above in an elective, he or she should be able to substitute that subject for a college prep class.
Understanding that the Chicago Public School system has set requirements that students have to meet in order to graduate, another alternative to seemingly unnecessary second semester classes is dual enrollment. This enables seniors to get a head start on their General Education requirements in college so that they can begin their freshman year taking courses directed toward their major. Seniors should be able to replace electives with dual enrollment classes allowing them to continue fulfilling the CPS requirement as well as receive college credit.
Senior year is the last step before adulthood. Second semester is a key time to learn the final lessons of high school. Make that time count.