The best semester classes to take


Photo by Raquel Tolin

Seniors Ashwathi Menon and Jennifer Shea collaborate on Law II homework. Law is a semester class that allows students to destress while learning about a topic of interest.

When deciding which classes to take each year, having a balance is important. Lots of students fill their schedules with honors and AP courses, which are valuable in providing in-depth instruction on core subjects. However, students often choose to balance the workload of these rigorous courses with easier courses, such as semester classes.

Choosing a semester class can be overwhelming, with the many different options available. It’s hard to know which will be engaging, informative and also provide you with a break from the rigor of your other classes. Here are some recommended semester classes!

Law: This is an opportunity to learn about major areas of American law, which is an important and applicable topic in the world. It provides students with a strong foundation in the field of law. Students have the option to either take Law I during first semester, Law II during second semester or both. Law I is centered around criminal law, and Law II around civil law, so the class can be tailored to fit varying interests around the law. Even if students aren’t planning to go into law, this topic can be useful in unique aspects of life. The class is available to juniors and seniors.

Personal Finance: This class is basically quantitative literacy but in semester form. Because it’s a shorter course, it’s more engaging while still providing mainly the same information. Students will get the chance to learn about budgeting, stocks, managing money, taxes and more. This is important material and is arguably one of the most essential classes students will take in school to ensure success after graduation. The class is available to juniors and seniors.

Philosophy: Philosophy is a unique topic that provides students the opportunity to think and explore the subject in their own way. Everyone has different interpretations of philosophical topics and trends, which opens the class up for engaging discussion. The class is centered around fun and creative projects rather than tests, and also stresses the importance of fluent presentation skills. It’s a good chance to prepare for college and learn how to be an engaged student in a casual classroom environment. The class is available to juniors and seniors.

Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations: Students consistently voted this as one of the most interesting and engaging semester classes. The class is low-stress so it’s a comfortable environment to focus on learning rather than memorizing. Students learn about the history of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and connect them to present-day America. Jeremy Butler also has a great teaching style, which adds to the value of the class. Another plus is that there’s basically no homework! The class is available to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

These semester classes provide information that can be applied to life, the opportunity to explore new interests and an engaging but relaxing way to step away from more challenging classes. They’re definitely worth taking!