Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. Even when I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer or a dermatologist, I knew I still wanted to write. Obviously, this kind of surety is rare. Most people arrive at college unsure of what they want to study, and that’s totally fine. College is a time for people to figure out what they’re passionate about. While it’s not entirely necessary that people arrive at college knowing exactly what they want to do, high school should be more about narrowing down your interests and preparing you for adulthood. 

I’ve found that once people reach high school, they know their likes and dislikes and have classes they prefer. I, for example, cried my way through math starting in elementary school. On the other hand, I had friends who were so sick of taking humanities classes by the time we were picking our courses for junior and senior year, they stopped taking them once they hit the minimum credit requirements. 

Every class is important in some way, but eventually, once students reach harder classes, they begin to lose their significance. A student who wants to be a scientist won’t benefit from challenging literature classes the way I would. On the flip side, I didn’t get anything from Algebra 2 besides frustration and bad grades. So, maybe after sophomore year of high school, students should be choosing general areas of study, focusing in either the humanities or STEM. It makes sense – by high school, many know which area they’re more interested in, and it prevents people from taking unnecessary classes. 

Still, it would be difficult to change entire curriculums and school systems to fit this model. So, I think the answer lies in magnet schools, which are public schools with specialized courses and curricula. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one for high school. My magnet school was funded by public school districts, meaning that my regular high school paid for me to attend and provided transportation to the magnet school for afternoon classes. At my magnet school, I studied creative writing and gained experience writing in nearly every genre. 

This was easily one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Generally speaking, I cared about all my classes in high school, even if I didn’t like them, but I poured my entire being into those creative writing classes. Everything I learned was so interesting and so relevant to me. Everyone wanted to be there because they cared and they loved the classes. My public school couldn’t compare. There, people regularly hated their classes, and I can’t help but wonder if people would have had a more positive attitude toward their education if they’d had more control over it, the way I did. 

If we had more magnet schools for different subjects and supported and nurtured students’ interests that way, I believe it would help people pinpoint their passions and make the decision of what to study in college easier. That being said, we would have to reevaluate students’ workloads at their public schools, because speaking from experience, the workload was a lot. Still, I wouldn’t change my experience. I walked out of it better prepared for college. I learned how to manage my time, understood myself and my likes and dislikes better, and strengthened my writing abilities, something that helped me a lot, especially as an English major. Further, I was exposed to screenwriting, something I probably would not have explored on my own, and something that led me to declare a second major in Film. And, for students who are still searching for their majors, I suggest taking some classes in the subjects that have interested you the most. It might lead you to your major and your future career. 

All this is to say that it might be time to reevaluate our education system. Students are somewhat prepared for college and to be adults, but we could be doing more. Think about it: Why aren’t we making students’ transitions to adulthood easier? What’s stopping us?

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