Elective classes and the crucial advantages they provide

Why electives are just as important as college credit classes


Graphic by Tiger Times Staff.

Why electives are just as important as college credit classes

Lainey Akins is a sophomore and a Reporter for the Fishers Tiger Times. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. 

    Right now, students are working to finalize their schedules for the 2023-2024 school year. They may decide to take more general classes to fulfill their chosen diploma or start exploring college-level classes, internships or electives. As students get older they have more freedom in their class choices, which leaves many current sophomores and juniors with a dilemma of if they should take more Advanced Placement (AP) and dual credit classes or leave those open slots for electives. Many people believe that the difficulty is choosing between more challenging classes (college-level classes) or more fun/easy classes (electives). However, the decision is much more complex than that, and elective classes may be much more crucial than most students realize. 

    Many of the college-level classes provided at Fishers allow students to earn college credit at a significantly cheaper price, which is part of the reason why some students opt to take multiple. However, many college students wind up switching majors, which can also be very costly. According to Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, about one-third of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs changed majors, compared with 28 percent of those enrolled in associate’s degree programs. Taking elective classes gives students the opportunity to explore possible majors before college, so they are less likely to change majors while in college. 

    When I started high school, I was very adamant about going into sports medicine. After I took the Intro to Sports Medicine class, I realized that while it was a great class, it was not the major that I wanted to pursue. Elective classes allow students to make realizations like these before they go to college. According to a study by Best Colleges which surveyed 817 college graduates around the US, 61% of college graduates [said they] would change their majors if they had a chance to go back. While some choose to change majors, others stick with their undesired major due to the fear of wasting time and money. This creates adults who are less happy in their line of work. According to Pew Research Center, (51%) of employed Americans say they get a sense of identity from their job, while the other 47% say their job is just what they do for a living. As previously stated, exploring possible career paths in high school by taking elective classes can help students in the future feel more fulfilled with their jobs. However, many encourage students to take college classes as a way to ‘get ahead’ in preparing for college and their near future. Although elective classes also do this by supplying students with a better idea of their desired career path. 

    While AP or college credit classes can be excellent resources to provide students with skills needed for life in the future, elective classes can provide experiences that are just as important. Fishers has a plethora of electives to choose from which allows students to gain new experiences, many of which are hard to access outside of a school setting. The experience and skills that students gain from elective classes can help them become more well-rounded people. Even if a student finds that the elective class that they chose does not fit with what they wish to pursue, it still benefits them in becoming more knowledgeable about different areas of study and the world around them. 

    Versatility is becoming a more and more prominent skill needed in this constantly changing world. Being well-versed in a multitude of different areas is more important for students now than ever. Elective classes can help students better be able to adapt to situations now and in the future if need be. Along with this, electives also expose students to people with similar interests, so they can interact with a variety of people and make more connections. Depending on the elective, these classes can also teach life skills like cooking or communication. 

    College classes are definitely beneficial, but the value of elective courses is often overlooked. Those elective classes can provide just as much insight into the workings of the world and possibly some insight into yourself.