Open Campus Closing Opportunities

Senior year may be stressful, but it’s no time for slacking when colleges and careers lay ahead

Madelyn Anderson, Opinion Editor

Seniors Elizabeth Baker and Lydia Mike leave for fourth and second block, respectively.

Students across the Millard Public School district have been given the opportunity to take open campuses in their schedules for years.

Originally, the offer was extended to both juniors and seniors, assistant principal Mr. Grimminger explained. But with several juniors veering off course for graduation and misusing opportunities to be in the classroom, the Board of Education quickly eliminated off blocks for third year students.

And to me, the senior’s choice should be monitored as well.

A full three years sitting in a cold, bland cinderblock room for seven to eight hours a day is enough to make an open campus sound like a tropical vacation. While it may seem enticing, most beach-filled getaways end with a nasty sunburn and enough sand in your clothes to build a small coastline of your own — not enough to convince you not to go, but at the very least making you regret not putting on that extra layer of sunscreen.

Many seniors spend their last semesters of high school with only two blocks, a half-day vacation that could have been better spent applying SPF College Prep. For a lot of students, the end of this Millard West “vacation” is something much more daunting than red, stinging skin — a university with at least four years of difficult classes and resume building.

A bad metaphor, I know, but I get it. High school is hard. No one wants to take additional strenuous classes for longer hours when they could be laying in bed binge watching a new series on Netflix or getting a few extra hours of sleep.

And college is expensive. A lot of seniors fill their open blocks with part time jobs and internships in efforts to prepare for the massive amount of student debt we’re all about to be plunged into.

There are much more rewarding and efficient ways to save your money from the comfort of the New Wing or the Green Mile.

Take AP classes. Dual enroll. Work hard, study for the exam and bypass that freshman English 101 lecture. Even if you don’t receive credit for the course, at the very least you have gained experience in an upper-level class.

Colleges pay attention to your senior transcript as well. Taking a semi-challenging schedule for the first half of the year and then dropping rigorous courses after admission deadlines won’t always cut it. A lot of competitive schools will notice that a student had the opportunity to take that extra calculus class to further prepare for their collegiate studies, but didn’t. Or that an engineering major hasn’t taken any additional advanced science classes. It doesn’t look good for the students admission and it makes the transition to college level academics that much harder.

Taking one or two open campuses the last semester of your final year won’t ruin an academic career. They provide students with an opportunity to pick up a part time job or unwind from the pressures of senior year.

However, in the long run, taking a couple extra courses will only be beneficial for one’s education. And that’s the reason we’re all here — for our education. Senior year should be a focus on finding who you are and what you want to do after high school. A few months from now, a lot of us will be picking majors or careers that can define the rest of our lives. We should all be taking advantage of the free opportunities the school provides to explore different interests and discover the best route for the future.

Take an art class. Or a computer programming class. Or even an AP history course. Who knows, you may find a new passion or a new friend. Whatever the result may be, the extra time put into your senior year at Millard West will be undeniably worth the effort.