Lexi Rosas| Staff Writer
Lexi Wilson gets home from a tiring day of school, only to log in and take her online Spanish I class. She takes a deep breath and gets to work, because she knows the jump in her class rank and GPA will be worth it.
Every high schooler needs a minimum of 26 credits to graduate, but sometimes, their beloved extracurriculars interfere, as well as the competitive nature of high school and the need to extract oneself from the average.
“I want to take speech online next year,” sophomore Paula Gutierrez-Rodrigues, Johnson’s number one varsity tennis player said,”I just don’t have time for it. Also, I prefer to spend time with Coach Reno on the court.”
With high school having such a severe impact on a student’s future, the pressure is on. At the very least, a student must collect the necessary credits, but to excel and possibly attend their choice college, one should build up a resume by helping the community and participating in a club-or two. All the while maintaining grades that will allow your resume to stand out against the crowd.
“Well, I didn’t take spanish my freshman year or in middle school, but I wanted to be in Spanish II pre-Ap, so I got the credit online,” sophomore Lexi Wilson, who dedicates much of her time to Johnson theatre productions, said.
Online courses may simply allow a student to salvage the basic credits needed, but these outside classes also permit the most driven of students to rise to the top of their class, get early release, and potentially graduate early.
“I would recommend these outside classes to self-motivated students who want to get ahead,” Wilson said.
At first glance summer or online classes appear effortless; a simple solution, but always take a second glance.
“Even though it seems like it might be easy to take health online its actually not as easy as it sounds and it was not a big deal when it was just a pass fail…but now that it’s a grade that could affect your GPA, it could pull it down; so now we see people not going that route because it’s no longer in their best interest,” counselor Shar Huffman said.
While the idea of outside classes appears, at first glance, to be effortless, there are a couple draw backs. First, cost, can be an issue.
“The class was pretty expensive. I had to pay for two semesters and books. It totaled around $400, I believe,” Wilson said.
These summer or online classes, though flexible, still require time out of a student’s busy schedule.
“I wouldn’t recommend taking a class online, because mine was a pain in the butt and it took up a lot of time,” sophomore Cullen Shoppe, who took Algebra I over the summer, said.
But when is it necessary to drop an elective? There are certain situations that may allow one to keep an elective, but there are also times that leaving an extracurricular behind is the best, or only option.
“It just depends on their situation,” Huffman said.
These classes could add to the stress caused by high school, but these classes could also alleviate a student’s stress.
“A lot of students have classes that they want to take during the school day here on campus, and they don’t have enough time in there schedule,” Huffman said.
Finding the balance between school and life may be difficult, and juggling desire and obligation may be tedious.
“We talked to a counselor about it. She is the one who led us to the online course,” Wilson said.