Are You on the Path to Graduate?

Are You on the Path to Graduate?

Ava Grandberry, Guest Columnist

Here at Hillcrest High School, there are many classes a student can take that might interest them.  We offer a plethora of classes, like English and calculus, or band and business; there are classes for everyone.  As a student at Hillcrest, you must take six classes to be considered a student. Those classes are your basic classes, such as English, math, science, social studies and lunch. The remaining periods are up for you to choose, although there are some perquisites to take before you advance to the next stage.  For example, the classes you take as a freshman differ from the classes you take as a senior. There are also classes that are only available to seniors and juniors.  In order to graduate, you need at least 22 credits to graduate or you can take two years of foreign language to get 24 credits, which will give you a challenge diploma.

Let’s start with freshman year, with all the newfound freedom and opportunities, there’s bound to be some chaos.  So let’s break it down.  During your freshmen year, you’re most likely to take seven to eight classes. As a freshman, you are required to take Digital Literacy & Personal Finance and Health & Physical Education. Since freshman year can be stressful, all freshmen must have FLC (Freshman Learning Center) during the first half of their lunch.  The Freshmen Learning Center is there to help you get help with your homework, catch up on any assignments, or to make new friends.  Many freshmen tend to get caught up with all the excitement that they tend to neglect their work.  It’s important to pass all of your classes or you can suffer the consequences your senior year.  At the end of this year, you should have around 8 credits.

Now that freshman year is over, it’s time to begin your sophomore year.  Sophomore year is pretty calm now that you know what to expect at the school.  In your sophomore year, everyone must take Driver’s Ed.  You can also sign up to take behind the wheel, which lets you get driving experience the summer of your junior year. Towards the end of your sophomore year, if you passed the written driving test, you can get your permit. Your permit is good for about two years, and in nine months you can get your driver’s license.  If you have been keeping up with your credits, you will be invited to the school’s “Half Cap” ceremony to celebrate the sophomores that are on the right track to graduate. At the end of this year, you should have around 13 credits. If you do fail a class, you can always take summer school to get the credit back.

Only two years left to go, so it’s time to start your junior year. Now, junior year can get really stressful really fast if you’re not prepared. It’s time to prepare to take the nationwide SAT test. You should strive to do your absolute best on the test because the higher your score is, the more scholarships you receive.  Plus, more universities would want you to go to their schools. But don´t fret, Hillcrest offers free tutoring at Sylvan to prepare you for the SAT. As a junior, you can take classes that you weren’t able to take your freshman and sophomore year.  For example, you can now take Honors Forensics or AP Calculus. You can also join many activities as well, such as H.O.P.E. or National Honor Society.  During this year, you should also be preparing yourself for college and thinking about what major you want. You can even decide if you want to graduate early.  At the end of this year, you should have about 18 credits and if you don’t, you can take night school your senior year or take summer classes.

Finally, your senior year is here! During this year, you can take the least amount of classes. A lot of students don´t have a 7th period or 8th period. You also don´t have to take a math, science and social studies class. You can take classes based off your major, like DECA or FCCLA, or you can take classes that you enjoy the most, such as band or culinary. But, don´t think that this will be your easiest year. You have to apply to several colleges and fill out as many scholarships as you can. You also have to complete your FAFSA to get your financial aid. Fortunately, there’s prom and graduation at the end of your senior year. At the end of this year, you should have at least 22 credits, and you can walk across the stage and get your diploma. If you don’t have enough credits you can take night school during the school year to make sure you graduate on time.

Although, it may seem hard, the path to graduation is an easy path, just make sure you have all your credits. And if you need help, you can always get help from tutors at Hillcrest or go to Sylvan for extra help. You can also go to the IMC during your lunch to catch up on any work. The resources are there, so utilize them.

In other words, as long as you do your work, you’re on the right path to graduate.