Next Year’s Classes – Only a Semester and a Summer Vacation Away


Written by Caroline Coen, Journalist


Though 2017-2018 school year is still nowhere near complete, students have already signed up for next year’s classes. The timeframe to turn in class requests ended on February 2nd, and Pacific Grove Middle School’s 8th graders, Pacific Grove High School’s freshmen, sophomores, and juniors plan out the 2018-2019 year to come.

As the seniors complete their high school experience, the 8th grade students of Pacific Grove Middle School are only just beginning their journey. It appears many 8th graders feel ready for high school. William Bennett feels eager to leave the middle school and looks forward to the classes he has requested for freshman year: Integrated Math 2, Honors English 1, AP Human Geography, PE Core 9, Spanish 1, Biology, and AP Computer Science Principles. Madalena Taurke says, “I’m excited, but I think I’ll get nervous soon.” Both Cali Knoop and Isabella Hoang feel a mixture of nerves and excitement for next year. Hoang thinks about how her performance in her freshman classes will influence classes she later can take. “I’m nervous for IM2 (Integrated Math 2) because I want to get into IM3 Honors (Honors Integrated Math 3),” she explains to the NewsBreaker. Ishaan Chada says, “I guess I’m confident, but I think that’s bad,” regarding his challenging course load for freshman year.

The current freshmen class prepares to help next year’s freshmen learn the ropes. With sophomore year comes more options, and students branch out further into classes that satisfy their different interests. Noah Saunders heads for the culinary room, while Donovan Headley plans on taking 2D Art and Jenna Hall looks forward to Photo 1. Headley tells the NewsBreaker how he feels about sophomore year. “I have heard that it is going to be harder than freshman year but I’m not too worried about it because I don’t think it’s going to be that much harder. …I’m taking an art class next year and that’s going to make it easier because it’s something I enjoy,” he explains. Sophomores also receive their first ever choice in PE classes: Strength Training 1, Dance, or Core 10-12 (Team Sports). Saunders selected Core 10-12 PE and Headley chose Strength Training 1, whereas Hall requested Dance PE. A new path opened up this year in the science curriculum for math lovers: heading straight to Chemistry/Honors Chemistry instead of taking physics sophomore year. Ambitious student Thomas Paff decided to take both classes, potentially taking on three honors classes and one Advanced Placement class. He claims to “have absolutely no clue” about how he feels about sophomore year.

The current sophomore class moves from the status of lowerclassmen to upperclassmen next year. A.P. classes become more available junior year, and junior year is notorious for being very challenging. Zaynab Wafa feels “pretty confident” about her schedule but slightly fears AP Language. On the other hand, Veronica Serrano feels “nervous,” but she explains, “that’s why I have some classes I enjoy so that it’s not overwhelming. I also have my friends to keep me going.” Mariam Esber only chooses to take six periods, but all six are filled by Advanced Placement or Honors classes. “I believe in progress so I enjoy challenging myself,” she tells the NewsBreaker. “However, I don’t want to kill myself over it so I’m not taking seven periods. I look forward to a new year,” she concludes. A true lover of math and science, Seth Knoop plans to take AP Calculus, AP Physics, Honors Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP US History, French 3, and either AP Language or Honors English 3. He says he worries about English and history because “I’m not the best at English and history is usually a big workload. I’m pretty confident in my math and sciences.” Overall, Anthony Da Silva sums up the general feel of the grade by saying “I feel like it’s [junior year] going to be a little more challenging than sophomore year.”

The current junior class will need to fill the shoes of the seniors next year and lead the  Pacific Grove High School student body as the senior class. Michelle Lee, taking numerous AP classes, explains how she has heard of different types of seniors – including those who contract senioritis, those who want to have relax and have fun their last year in high school, and those who do their best academically even after they have finished applying for college. She explains, “First semester will be hectic, because I will have college apps, AP classes, marching band, and tennis. I have to learn how to manage all that and still have time to rest my brain. I want to have a balance my life because I love learning, I love tennis, I love music, and also, because it’s my last year at high school before college.” Elizabeth Lee has fewer AP classes on her schedule next year. She says that she learned from junior year (which is arguably one of the most difficult years in high school) to not take too many AP’s, as doing so created a massive workload. “Hopefully it will be easier…hopefully my schedule will be more relaxed senior year,” she tells the NewsBreaker. Tristan Parker Lusseau intends to take Honors Intro to Calculus, English 4 – Science Fiction and Dystopia, Orchestra, Government and Economics, and 3D Art. “I feel like it’s going to be a lot shorter than the past years,” he says before adding, “hopefully.” Taylor Biondi intends on taking Culinary 1, 3D Art, AP Government, Honors Intro to Calculus, AP Environmental Science, and English 4 Science Fiction and Dystopia, telling the NewsBreaker her feelings regarding senior year as well. “I’m kind of stressed out because it’s a big year and I have to start applying for colleges. But I’m excited because so far my classes seem kind of fun.”

While the graduating class of 2018 enjoys their final semester of high school and celebrates the closing of one door and the opening of another, the rest of the student body already prepares for more classes, only a semester and a summer vacation away.