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Challenge yourself and take classes you love

Senior+Emily+Postlethwait+sits+with+her+journalism+class+on+decision+day.+%22I+am+so+lucky+to+have+found+such+an+amazing+community+of+people+to+work+alongside+with+to+create+content+we+are+all+proud+of%2C%22+Postlethwait+said.+They+are+wacky+and+weird+at+times%2C+but+I+love+them+more+than+anything.%22+Pictured+%28left+to+right%29%3A+Emma+Howell%2C+Brian+Clancy%2C+Annie+Peterson%2C+Delaney+Nelson%2C+Emily+Postlethwait%2C+Madi+Scariano%2C+Reese+Seberg.
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Challenge yourself and take classes you love

Senior Emily Postlethwait sits with her journalism class on decision day.

Senior Emily Postlethwait sits with her journalism class on decision day. "I am so lucky to have found such an amazing community of people to work alongside with to create content we are all proud of," Postlethwait said. They are wacky and weird at times, but I love them more than anything." Pictured (left to right): Emma Howell, Brian Clancy, Annie Peterson, Delaney Nelson, Emily Postlethwait, Madi Scariano, Reese Seberg.

Senior Emily Postlethwait sits with her journalism class on decision day. "I am so lucky to have found such an amazing community of people to work alongside with to create content we are all proud of," Postlethwait said. They are wacky and weird at times, but I love them more than anything." Pictured (left to right): Emma Howell, Brian Clancy, Annie Peterson, Delaney Nelson, Emily Postlethwait, Madi Scariano, Reese Seberg.

Senior Emily Postlethwait sits with her journalism class on decision day. "I am so lucky to have found such an amazing community of people to work alongside with to create content we are all proud of," Postlethwait said. They are wacky and weird at times, but I love them more than anything." Pictured (left to right): Emma Howell, Brian Clancy, Annie Peterson, Delaney Nelson, Emily Postlethwait, Madi Scariano, Reese Seberg.

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I recently learned in AP Psychology about the Flynn Effect: a worldwide phenomenon that shows intelligence test performance has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past centuries. Upon discussion about what necessarily caused the Flynn Effect, we as a class came to the conclusion that in today’s age, especially in Barrington, it may be because of the easy access to information through technology. While that is true as we can find almost any bizarre or irrelevant fact just by pulling out our phones, I came to the conclusion that in Barrington, that another connection could be due to the expectations for our academic achievements and challenges.

This specifically doesn’t prove causation to the increase in intelligence test performance, but there could be a correlation between the two, especially because these expectations have begun to arise only in the last couple of years. While I value intelligence and believe that it is an important value to most, I also value the importance of being a well-rounded individual.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect the high school for encouraging students to challenge themselves and try to take higher level courses, and I think that in the long run, it may help that student grow in certain areas. However, there has been a rapid increase in the amount of AP and honors classes students are expected to take. Of course, the school does not make any requirements for students to take harder classes, but there seems to be some sort of underlying expectation to take those higher classes.

In light of today, May 1st, being decision day, I have definitely thought back to some of the best and worst memories and decisions from high school. Some of the best decisions that I have made revolve around taking classes that I love – often those that are not AP classes. At the end of my sophomore year, my teachers and counselors challenged me to take almost all AP and honors, core classes. It seemed that after meeting with my counselor and seeing the schedule he laid out for me, my schedule was almost filled to the brim, with no room left for electives or classes that I enjoyed.

In previous years, I had made sure to take choir as it was an opportunity for me to take a breather throughout my jam-packed day and get to do something that I loved with my friends. I was genuinely happy in this class and I wanted another class like that. So, with courage, I refused to take certain classes, and instead took a class that changed my life – journalism.

I always had a love for writing and I always envied the kids who got to interview people and write stories about real things going on throughout the school. So, I thought I would take my shot. And, almost immediately, I fell in love. I fell in love so much that I am studying journalism in college. If it weren’t for me dropping AP Spanish, I would have never been able to take a class that not only challenged me to meet deadlines and create a product that I was proud of, but it welcomed me into a community who shared the same love for writing as I had. This class, even on the stressful days, was my favorite because I was doing what I loved to do. I am so thankful I didn’t listen to my teachers when they recommended me for another AP class that would most likely bore me or require me to rip my hair out.

Sure I had to make sacrifices for taking the class and it wouldn’t necessarily boost my GPA like my other AP classes, but this class was a guaranteed time where I would be able to see my friends and spend time doing what I loved to do. Of course, the stress that came with taking AP classes followed me to journalism, but that stress soon went away in the class period. I was then met with adrenaline to meet deadlines and the pure joy to spend time with such an awesome community. Take classes that you want to take and stop caring solely about your GPA. Your happiness matters and I can assure you that your GPA won’t give you happiness forever.

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Challenge yourself and take classes you love