Boxed in by Course Selections


Abby Paquette, Staff Writer


Many high schools have just dipped into or ended that one wonderful time of the year when the guidance office resembles a zoo more than it does a guidance office. Lines of students desperate to switch into, drop out or make sure they get into a specific class extend out of counselors’ doors, looping around the guidance office. Eager freshman jumping to meet with their counselors, while the seniors are eager to get all their credits and graduate.

Gabby Cass is a senior at Goffstown High School. She has picked her classes for four years now and knows exactly that feeling of eagerness and nervousness that comes with picking your future classes. Carey Foss is a junior at Goffstown High School, and she has only picked classes for three years and is now picking for her fourth and last time. Carey never feels nervous about picking her future classes sometimes she is more frustrated with picking her future classes.

Each year picking classes is something you either look forward to or dread depending on your personal experiences. Gabby and Carey don’t look forward to this time of year. The selection of classes wasn’t a difficult process but, “I always went with what my counselor told me,” Gabby says. “I think it’s easy technically, but I think they make it seem like it’s all our choice, but in reality we are just choosing from a selection of required classes. I mean going online and choosing classes isn’t hard, but it is hard to balance what you really want to do and learn to boost your future with what is required to take because of unfair standards,” Carey comments about the difficulty of the course selection process as a whole.

Both girls seem to feel like the course selection process is not their own choice but more of a choice between required classes than a choice of all the classes on the class sheet. Carey also thinks it is a hard balance to find between what you want to take and what you have to take, especially for students who like art classes or tech classes but are required to take math and science based classes.

When it comes time to pick classes you receive a piece of paper with all the options you can choose from. On the paper you circle the classes you want and later on meet and talk with your guidance counselor, “I like having the piece of paper so I have an idea of what I can pick and if I have any questions I can ask, but I wouldn’t pick classes without meeting with my counselor,” Gabby said. Carey feels more annoyed with the process and would rather just use the paper, “I mean I like meeting with my guidance counselor after picking classes but it doesn’t change what I have to choose and what else I’m going to do, and they don’t usually have that amazing input. So I guess meeting with them could go without because I don’t think they really help all that much anyways unless you are changing a class, period or teacher.”

In contrast, Gabby feels differently. She believes her counselor gives great input and is always happy to help and answer her questions. Even though Gabby feels her counselor helps her a lot, she feels as though there is not enough information on the classes or the teachers teaching them, “it is frustrating because of the teachers you might have. You can have the same class but different teachers who teach way differently and you could be learning completely different things,”

Carey and Gabby have both positive and negative thoughts on course selections at Goffstown High School but there has never been major problems for them. They both like their counselors and believe they have the best interest of the students in mind, “if I want to fix anything she shows me every possible option and I can decide from that point on, feeling pretty good with the information she gave me”.