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Non-Academic Choices are Fine!

By Abi Parameswaran

As technology develops rapidly, people are overwhelmed and have the fear of robots taking over jobs. Similarly, many high school students also like to think about their future careers and can feel the pressure of wanting to study in a field where they can get a relevant job in society. Going to a heavily academic oriented school like Forest Hill Collegiate Institute (FHCI), there is the constant social pressure all around to take courses similar to your classmates to conform to the academic culture at this school. People are always thinking about the future which can be a positive aspect, it can also lead to rejection when others take a different path, especially in a school that heavily prioritizes the math and science courses.

It is a commonality to see many students take a variation of the science and math courses offered at this school. The concept of keeping options open for post-secondary seems so important to the point where people forget to take courses of interest. If someone knows they dislike a subject strongly the option is already closed since they know they will not go into something related to that field. Therefore, it is illogical to ask of someone who is not interested in the sciences or the mathematics to take these subjects. Naturally, some people drop courses in the maths and science area that do not interest them. When they talk to friends or other peers, the idea of dropping courses like maths and science is sometimes frowned upon as people think these courses are vital to an education. Part of the reason students think like this is because of how heavily academic this school is, and it is with good intentions that they discourage their friends to drop these courses. However, the notion of doubting someone’s choices can be demotivating to individuals who have their interests aligned with different courses. It is time to move out of the idea that students may be closing options when they do not take academic courses and time to be open to the idea that people take courses with different interests, and those that do will also be fine.

All in all, everyone in the school is trying to manoeuvre through high school while having a great experience. Although Forest Hill is a very academic school, there are many people who do not have the same interests. Despite the fact that planning out the future may seem important, taking things one step at a time is even more important as these futuristic ideologies that are self-created often change. People should be more open-minded towards different educational paths and should always encourage their friends to do what they feel is right!

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