So many choices, so little time

Ava Wilson

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Eagle Mountain has always had one mission: to set students on the path to success. Etowah offers a wide variety of electives to help students explore different career paths. However, a question many students face is which electives are best to take. 

“As a freshman, take whatever you think you would like because the main reason why you are taking electives is to rule out things, or to continue on with things that you’re going to like and possibly pursue as a career,” Travis Schmid, guidance counselor, said. 

While the goal of high school is to prepare students for their future, it is important for freshmen to gain exposure to the high school environment. 

“As a freshman, chorus benefitted me because it is like a family. I came into high school, not really knowing anyone, and I made so many good friends out of it,” Makayla Shaffer, sophomore, said. 

While freshmen are only offered Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography, beginning sophomore year, students have more AP options. A smart move for rising sophomores could be to continue the AP path if they enjoyed it as a freshman. If not, there are still many beneficial electives to choose from. 

 “As a sophomore, I would recommend AP Environmental Science. It’s an easy AP class with an easy exam as long as you’re willing to put in the work,” Nicole Pullen, junior, said. 

For rising juniors, choosing electives can be a stressful decision. Many juniors are pursuing dual enrollment, or taking multiple AP classes in preparation for college. Etowah offers electives that help with this including AP Seminar and AP Psychology/Sociology. 

“I took [AP Seminar] because I was bad at presenting in front of people, and my formal writing wasn’t the best. With Seminar, we’ve learned how to better our speaking and writing, so we can more effectively communicate a specific point. I think as many people as possible should take the class because it offers many useful skills that you will need in college,” Michael Mandle, junior, said. 

For rising seniors, college is one year away. Many seniors have chosen to pursue dual enrollment, but for those who have not, it is advised that they take the easiest electives possible and focus on core classes. However, there are still a multitude of beneficial electives. While many juniors and seniors struggle to prepare for college, those on the AP track can take the AP Capstone Program.

“I can definitely say that [the AP Capstone Program] improved my writing, researching, and presentation skills, all vital skills needed to succeed in college and the business world,” Rachel Hugenberg, senior, said.  

While Etowah offers many electives shaped to prepare students for future careers, there are many that have other benefits, as well. Some electives allow a student to make up a required credit.  

“If you do the healthcare/science elective pathway, it can equal your fourth science as a senior. Digital technology is the same way. In fact, if you take coding, it can equal your foreign language,” Schmid said. 

For students who still struggle to figure out what they should take for electives, a wise move would be to talk to a counselor or pick up an elective sheet at the counseling office.