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Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The Perfect Senior Schedule

Samuel Tichenor
The class of 2023 at the senior sunrise event held by the school on Aug. 26, 2022.

A ringing announcement filled the air early last week, calling the first group of freshmen to the commons and marking the start of the course selection process.

For underclassmen, these few weeks aren’t stressful at all – they might even be a little exciting. Honors chemistry or regular? Foods or accounting? Is it possible to squeeze eight classes into a six-hour day?

But for a soon-to-be senior, the looming pressure of graduation keeps any excitement at bay. 

Whether they’re meeting niche requirements for colleges, building experience for jobs after high school or just trying to find a way to make senior year as easy as possible, this year’s rising class is faced with tough choices as they begin to map out their years after EHS.

Being a senior myself, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about the class of 2025’s year ahead. August and September are a breeze, then January makes you wish you’d graduated at the semester. 

Luckily for the juniors, though, I have wisdom to share. 

Before I get into what I’ve deemed the perfect senior-year schedule, I’d like to highlight the fact that this schedule doesn’t take into account any specific requirements for post-secondary schools, nor is it guaranteed to fit your specific path – that’s why this is called the “perfect” senior schedule, not the “practical” senior schedule.

First Hour: Study Hall

After three whole years of waking up at five something in the morning, you deserve a break.

You can come at this one of two ways: stay home for the first hour of the day or actually come in to get some work done.

Because seniors have the option to shorten their schedule, many might look at getting rid of first hour altogether. Giving yourself an extra hour of sleep is always a good idea, but is often essential for athletes or any student involved in other time-consuming extracurriculars. 

Even if you’re a morning person, there’s nothing stopping you from getting up early anyway and running errands or hitting the gym before class. 

On the other hand, coming in for a first-hour study hall is great for those who don’t like doing homework at night. Being in the school environment can be helpful to getting work done, even if it’s at 7 a.m. in the practically-empty cafeteria. 

Second Hour: Honors Psychology and Sociology

Throughout my time in high school, I was never able to fit these semester classes into my schedule, but I have no doubt that Honors Psychology and Sociology are worth your time.

If I’d had a little more freedom with making my schedule last year, the first thing I’d do is add psychology and Sociology, solely because of the teachers.

Sairee Knabe is a widely known and loved teacher among many students at EHS, teaching both pyschology and Sociology. She creates a familiar and comfortable environment wherever she goes, something many students are drawn to. 

Kevin Paur, on the other hand, is a hidden gem. I’ve never had Mr. Paur for sociology, but I did take AP Human Geography with him. He has a deep passion for every subject he teaches, and there’s no choice but to be completely drawn in to his lectures.

Besides the teachers, Honors Psychology and Sociology are relatively simpler courses. not to mention psychology’s GPA boost. Having these classes second hour is a great start to your day, especially if you’ve just spent an hour sleeping in. 

Third Hour: Intro to Statistics

Every guidance counselor will tell you the same thing – you don’t want to skip a year of math just before college. 

It’s true – going an entire year without practicing any sort of math is going to make college much harder, but how can your senior year be anywhere near enjoyable if you still have a math class in your schedule?

Statistics is the perfect escape from the technicality of algebra or calculus. It’s more of a mixture of calculator mastery and real-world application, which are just as useful in a college-level math class as knowing how to solve and graph equations. 

Taught by Kelli Davis, Intro to Statistics is a relatively simple course with a manageable workload and an excess of materials to help you succeed. 

Even if you’re an overachiever, you’re going to need all the time you can get. College applications will take up a good majority of your October, November and December. Then, scholarships will catch up with you in the early months of the new year. Trust me on this, you should give yourself the time to get on top of things. 

Fourth Hour: Study Hall

Two study halls in one day might send you running, but hear me out for a second.

Especially if you spend first hour sleeping in, you need a designated hour to get things done. One of the only reasons I was able to keep up with the work in my classes was because I gave myself a study hall, specifically in fourth hour. 

Lunch takes place during this period, so study halls are held in third-floor classrooms, where few distractions can find you. 

Again, being in the school environment is good for getting work done. Even if you just do three problems from your stats homework, you’ve still accomplished something. 

A study hall can introduce you to new hobbies or interests, too. I often found that when I’d finished all my homework, I could get back into reading or finally get to play the New York Times crossword. 

Junior year can take much out of you, so give yourself the chance to bring back things you love – school doesn’t have to take up your entire life. 

Fifth Hour: AP Lang

If you didn’t miraculously double-up on English classes in your junior year, I’m afraid you’ve still got another research paper ahead of you. 

Make the most of the situation and take AP lang. It’s known to be one of the more manageable AP classes offered at EHS, and it gives you the chance to get college credit at the end of the year. 

AP exams are no joke, but preparing for a big test like that can help keep your mind sharp for your years ahead. Even if it becomes a little time-consuming, you’ve already given yourself two study halls, so it shouldn’t get out of hand. 

Lang is another class I haven’t been able to take, but the material covered in the course description matches up pretty perfectly with what a lot of college classes are going to cover. 

Even if you’re not looking into post-secondary education, improving your writing can never hurt. Lang is a newer class to EHS, too, so I’d jump at the chance to add it to my schedule. Take advantage of the new academic opportunities presented to you, especially because so many students before you didn’t get to.

Sixth Hour: Foreign Language or Fine Art

One of the most important parts of your senior year is trying new things. If I’d stuck to the typical five or six classes everyone else takes, I wouldn’t be writing this article at all.

Students are encouraged to take at least two years of Spanish, French or German to meet the minimum requirements for most colleges. Sticking it out for three or four years, though, can be beneficial in more ways than one. 

If you’ve ever considered studying abroad, there’s no doubt a foreign language will help with communication. Your chances of learning new things are much higher when you can speak to the people who live there. 

Fine arts, on the other hand, might seem difficult to get started in, especially when it comes to instruments. Fortunately, EHS’s band, orchestra and choir classes are welcoming to new students at all times. 

Unlike a study hall, a performing arts class keeps you busy. Still, it manages to give you a little break from your hectic days as a senior. 

If you’re still not into that, visual arts classes are equally as rewarding. Drawing, Ceramics, you name it: whatever kind of art you’re interested in, there’s a class for it at EHS.

Like a performing arts class, visual arts have this odd ability to press pause on your busy day and give you a minute to relax. Even if you’re not artistic now, there’s no doubt that a class like Art & Design can change that.

When it comes down to it, if you really aren’t interested in any of these, just find a class outside of what you’d normally take. If you take even one thing away from my “perfect” senior schedule, let it be that you need to try new things before you’re on your own.