Top Five Elective Classes that Every Student Should Take

Abhinav Boda and Rachel Horowitz

With scheduling underway at OLHS, it is important that students are fully aware of the numerous elective offerings that they can take during the upcoming school year. To prepare for life beyond high school, we believe that it is imperative that all students take the following five courses during their high school career:


5. Psychology:

Even if you aren’t interested in pursuing a career in medicine, Psychology is one of the most intriguing courses that you can take. This class allows you to gain a greater understanding of the human mind and tendencies. Psychology, as a social science, studies human behavior through a scientific lens. While the class can be a heavy workload and requires strong memorization skills, the class is incredibly useful in improving your critical thinking and analytical skills.


4. Etymology:

This one’s for you, freshman, sophomores, and juniors. The premise of etymology is pretty simple; learn words and expand your vocabulary. While a good vocabulary is a skill that everyone should have, and the elective is still valuable for seniors, the real appeal is the help the class provides on the ACT and SAT. You are very likely to see unfamiliar vocabulary on these exams, so etymology is a great tool to help you with recognizing more words and taking an educated guess on those you don’t, ultimately helping you improve your score.


3. Four years of a foreign language:

Selective universities appreciate seeing dedication to studying a specific language, so continuing to take Spanish, French, or German is a wise investment. Not only does continuing to take a language improve your memory function and comprehension, it also heightens your cultural awareness, which is an important skill for interacting with a diverse array of individuals, in college and beyond. Speaking a foreign language fluently is also an attractive skill for job applications.


2. Civil and Criminal Law:

Aside from the required Government course, Civil and Criminal Law is the best course to start learning about your civil liberties and the justice system. Although, hopefully, you will never have to use this knowledge, it is important to learn about and understand your rights. The class also gives you a look into the history of law, the prison system, and the civil responsibilities of citizens, such as jury duty. Outside of this essential knowledge, Civil and Criminal Law is just a really fun class; the majority of your grade comes from projects, such as a mock trial, creating your own laws, and performing skits in front of the class. Additionally, the class features numerous guests. In the past, these guests have included an FBI agent, a Federal Prosecutor, a DEA agent, a police officer, and a correctional officer.


1. Speech:

As you’ve probably heard all of your English teachers say in the past, speech is an important class. Although spending a semester speaking in front of a room of your peers may not be on your education bucket list, learning public speaking skills is one of the most essential lessons you will encounter in high school. Unlike many other classes, the skills you learn in speech are guaranteed to be useful; communicating in jobs, giving speeches at important events, and the ability to project confidence throughout your everyday life is valuable for a successful future.