Social Question

Fly's avatar

What classes should I take in my senior year of high school?

Asked by Fly (8675 points ) February 23rd, 2011

I am having trouble deciding what classes to take for my senior year of high school, and I am hoping that you jellies may be of help!

Background information: I plan to study international relations and political science in college, and I hope to ultimately become a foreign ambassador, so I’m choosing some classes based on that. I also want to take classes that are normally core curriculum in college just to get them out of the way.

I have a total of eight periods to fill. I have already chosen five classes, but I have three left undecided.

I have already chosen:
-AP Political Science
-AP Human Geography
-AP Economics
-AP Literature and Seminar
-AP Language and Seminar

These are my options for the other three classes:
-Pay $300 to take an anthropology course at the community college. I’m not really sure if this will be significantly helpful towards my career goals, or if it’s worth the money.
-AP Environmental Science. Once again, I’m not sure if this will be helpful in the long run, and I’m not particularly interested or disinterested in the class.
-AP Physics with Calculus. I am currently taking AP Calculus and doing well. I am somewhat interested in this class, but I know that it is very difficult and that it is not at all related to my career goals.
-AP Probability and Statistics. As I previously stated, I am currently taking AP Calculus. I know that calculus is the core curriculum math for college, so I don’t technically need to go any further. AP Prob and Stat is the only math class left for me to take. However, I am not sure if it would be more beneficial to continue my math education or to take one of these other classes.
-AP European History. I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other about this class, but I’m not sure of the core curriculum for social studies. I am currently taking AP US History.
-Latin I. I am very interested in taking Latin I, and it would be a nice break from so many AP classes. However, I would not receive college credit, and it is not really related to my career goals.

I apologize for the incredibly long details, and I appreciate all of you taking the time to help me out!

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16 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Did you pick at least one study hall?

WestRiverrat's avatar

I agree with @SpatzieLover you need at least one study hall. If you want to be a diplomat, the European History would be a good class to take.

Probability and Statistics will probably have more bearing on what diplomats do than physics and calculus.

chyna's avatar

Take something that you like, just for you. It doesn’t have to go towards your college goals. If you like latin, take it. You may never get the opportunity again. You have a very impressive class list. Good luck!

Fly's avatar

@SpatzieLover and @WestRiverrat Unfortunately, we don’t have a study hall option at our school.

janbb's avatar

I would also push for something fun. You’ve got a very full course load. Many colleges don’t even give credit for AP classes so I wouldn’t worry about that so much. Take the Latin if that’s what your heart desires.

MacBean's avatar

My personal recommendations, I think, would be Latin, Anthro and European history. Latin because it seems to be what you’re most interested in out of your choices, and that’s every bit as important as what will be technically helpful in the future; history because if you want to be a diplomat, the more you know, the better; and anthropology because I took an anthro course in college and completely adored it. So that last one is just my personal preference seeping in. If forced to recommend a different class based on more than just my own whims, I’d say Prob and Stat. But math scares me, so I wouldn’t take it. XD

(P.S. You’re awesome, just so you know.)

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’d go with the Latin, too. I think you’ll really enjoy it and you’d be amazed how much it helps with other European languages. Besides, you need at least one not killer class to even things out.

Fly's avatar

I think I’ve decided to fill one block with Latin, and another with AP Euro at this point. I still have one undecided block, though. Thanks to everyone for your help thus far. :)

@MacBean P.S. You too. :)

SpatzieLover's avatar

I enjoyed Latin @Fly. With the work load you’ll have, it’ll be a nice break ;)

If it were me it be AP Econ. It came easy to me (sounds like it would to you to).

JLeslie's avatar

Definitely something you like, a personal interest that might feel more like a hobbie than specifically helping you with your formal education. It doesn’t mean it can’t be one of the AP classes you named, I took Business Calculus when it was not required because I liked math. Also, consider you don’t always know what you might find interesting, maybe go for an elective you had not considered before? My husband’s entire career wound up being based on a class in college that he never even had thought of as a career choice.

Personally I think AP Anatomy and Physiology was very interesting, because it teaches us about ourselves and our own bodies. I never took any science in college, but my biology and anatomy classes from high school game me a great foundation for some of the medical prolems I have had and for helping others.

Or, what about a cooking class? Sewing (I wish I could sew better). Psych?

JLeslie's avatar

Have you already been taking another language besides Latin? Are the countries you are interested in Romance languages? Latin is great for many reasons, but not as practical as learning a language that is still in use. I don’t mean to discourage you from Latin, especially if you are interested in it, and of course even English has many words based on Latin roots, not just the romance languages, and if you wind up going into the sciences Latin is very helpful, but you never get to practice Latin except in class, so it will be forgotten over time most likely.

SavoirFaire's avatar

From one overachiever to another: you are too hung up on your career goals. Yes, focusing yourself like a laser might get you out of some of your requirements. But if you have a heart attack and die before ever going to college, it really won’t be worth it. Also, a general education is of great use to diplomats. You need something other than business to talk about at parties, after all.

That said, here are my recommendations given that you have to choose from the options you gave (in rank order):

Latin I
AP European History
AP Probability and Statistics

The reasons for Latin and European History have already been thoroughly canvased, and I see you have been convinced by them. The probability and statistics class would be more useful than the others because you will have reports full of statistics shoved under your nose as a diplomat, and it would be nice if you could understand what they meant.

I would not pay extra to take the anthropology class now because you can always take something similar later on. I think it would be useful for you, but it’s not worth going out of your way to take it next year. I loved environmental science, but I was also very interested in the subject. While I would be wary of not getting enough science education, wait until college and take science classes that seem more interesting to you. This ties in to why I wouldn’t recommend taking the physics class right now. You already have enough on your plate for next year, and AP Physics is a difficult class. Wait to take physics in college when you are not under quite so much pressure. That way you can learn the subject and avoid the aforementioned heart attack.

Fly's avatar

Thanks to all of you for your help!

I decided to take Latin 1 and AP European, as I stated earlier. As for the third period, I decided to leave it as an open campus class. This would give me the option to take the college class, or to possibly get special permission to use it as a study hall instead. It also leaves more room for future schedule changes.
I listed AP Probability and Statistics as my first alternate, and AP Environmental Science as my second, leaving a fun class, Ceramics 2, as my third.

@JLeslie I have already taken four years of French, so Latin is just a class I’ve been interested in taking a while to better my understanding of the basis of the English and French languages. Unfortunately, our school does not offer any of the courses you suggested other than AP Psychology, which I took this year and loved. I would take it again if I could!

@SavoirFaire I certainly appreciate input from someone who has been in comparable situations. Your input was very helpful; I used logic similar to yours to finally come to the conclusion of what classes to take. I am not so concerned about not taking enough science because I am currently taking AP Chemistry, but I can see how that would be a legitimate concern since you didn’t have that knowledge. Here’s to hoping I don’t have a heart attack any time soon!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Fly Glad to hear about the AP Chemistry, and I hope you still consider taking physics in college. All the math you’re taking now will be great for future science classes, though, as well as just generally helpful. I know you are aiming high, and I would never discourage you from doing so. But remember to give yourself enough time off to keep from breaking down and never achieving your goals. I’ve avoided heart attacks this long, so I’m sure you can as well. Good luck!

augustlan's avatar

Thanks for helping my girl, jellies!

JLeslie's avatar

One last thought. Sociology might really interest you since you will be working with people from different cultures most likely.

Also, there is a lot of Latin in English, but just in case you don’t know English is considered a Germainic Language additional link about English

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