The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

Having Seven Classes is Difficult (And That’s Okay)

Peter Philpott
To underclassmen, the variety of courses offered at CCHS can be overwhelming. And it’s a well-known and statistically-proven fact that Creek is an outstanding school. We have a heavy academic culture that promotes taking seven classes, and prioritizing weighted courses. But no one should feel pressured by that culture to take on more than they can handle.

I remember the Future Bruins’ Nights and the futures orchestra/band concerts I visited in eighth grade. I remember the wise high schoolers, our future leaders, encouraging us to go for seven classes. They said that even though counselors didn’t recommend it, having only one off period isn’t that bad; we could do it.

It simply needs to be said. Having seven classes is stressful and difficult. But you shouldn’t feel pressured into that life by Creek’s weighty academic culture.

To a middle schooler, Creek’s wide range of classes, from the arts to the extensive language and STEM course options, is overwhelming. Maybe you’re attempting to fulfill language and Fine Arts requirements, while also wanting to take that extra, enticing elective. It’s easy to get wrapped up in seven classes because you’re so eager to try the new possibilities.

Off periods are freeing, wonderful times to work, eat, or sleep, if you please. But having only 47 minutes in the middle of seven hours and 10 minutes of school is quite strenuous. Having the extra off that comes with six classes gives so much time to travel off-campus for lunch, or finish assignments for multiple classes.

But despite knowing these indisputable facts now, I didn’t realize the time stress that having one off-period would present back in 8th grade.

Don’t get me wrong, a full schedule is manageable, and with proper organization and time management. But it takes energy and time to adjust to the workload after coming from middle school, where classes are easier and you have more time to relax and get homework done.

Creek, as the largest in-person high in Colorado, also comes with a heavy academic culture. It is premier in extracurriculars, academics, athletics, and faculty.

Remember: more classes, more homework, more tests, and more finals.

The stress of exams and standardized tests on top of seven classes is intimidating. According to Niche, Creek’s average SAT score of 1340 towers over Colorado’s 996 and the US’s 1028. Our ACT average is 30, much higher than the average 20-21 across the country. Creek students, as a whole, are talented test takers, and we tend to take difficult classes, with a slightly higher AP enrollment rate than the national average. All of these add up to a terrific 93% graduation rate, 6% over the national average.

It’s tough to fit in with Creek’s academic culture. Maybe you believe seven classes will make you feel like you belong.

If you’re up to the challenge, and prepared to undergo tough times to achieve your goals, by all means, it’s your prerogative to take on that mountain. I chose to, like many others at Creek. And, as expected, it’s difficult. Especially when you enroll in AP and honors courses while also participating in clubs and athletics.

High school is not just about academics. It’s about learning to be a real person who can work with others, organize their time efficiently, and prepare for the wider world. And that is not an objective achieved purely through study and rigor. It’s made through relaxation, social time (or alone time), and variety.

Without that variety, only one thing will follow: burnout.

You don’t have to push yourself towards nightly stress when you realize that along with your seven classes’ worth of homework, you also have a sports game or a club meeting. Or when you realize your weekend plans have evaporated because you have 30 pages of textbook reading or a presentation to finish up.

It’s ok to take six classes. Don’t let Creek culture tell you otherwise.

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About the Contributor
Peter Philpott
Peter Philpott, News Editor & Outreach Coordinator
Hey there! My name's Peter, I'm a junior, and I'm the USJ's News Editor and Outreach Coordinator. I believe that the first amendment is incredibly important, and as journalists we have the right and the duty to uphold it. I am very passionate for news reporting, from small, local issues, to major politics or systemic change topics. This is why I love political/breaking news reporting, and one day I hope to be an investigative journalist. I also enjoy artistic photography in my free time. My position as Outreach Coordinator gives me the opportunity to connect to other newspapers, businesses, and families in the community to grow our reach and get our coverage in the hands of more people. I play trumpet and mellophone and I am part of Creek's Marching Band. I'm enthusiastic to inform this school on the happenings of our community, from Capitol Hill to the quad. Also, check out my column, Peanuts and Cracker Jack, where I talk about in-depth baseball!

To contact me by email, access my portfolio, or view my photography Instagram account, click the respective buttons below.

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