Course selection advice for rising seniors

The senior year counts in college admissions, and the courses you select will be an important part of your evaluation. Colleges want to see that you continue to challenge yourself rather than let the party start too early. I’ve written before about course selection considerations for seniors, but here are a few more for this year’s class:

1. What does your high school counselor recommend?

Your counselor knows your school’s offerings and your academic record. It’s worth a conversation to get her advice about the right courses for you.

2. What do the colleges you’re considering recommend?

It’s always helpful when a college you want to attend gives you advice about what they’re looking for. And the admissions sections of many colleges’ websites describe the recommended high school academic preparation.

3. Follow your interests.

Do you have a favorite subject that you really enjoy learning?  If so, challenge yourself as much as possible in that subject. Overlapping your interest with a challenge usually leads to a good learning experience.

4. Follow a favorite teacher.

Do you have a favorite teacher?  Will he or she be teaching a course you could take during the senior year?  Ask your counselor if it’s possible to be placed in that class.

5. Break up with a bad subject.

Part of succeeding in college means being willing to push through subjects that don’t come to you easily. But if you have a subject that consistently makes you miserable, one in which you’ve always struggled just to get by and maybe even had to enlist the help of tutors just to get through the course, consider breaking up with that subject and replacing it with something more up your academic alley. I’m not suggesting that you should only take classes that come easily. But we all have our limits. And breaking up with a bad subject can leave your more time to dedicate to a good relationship with another course.