Advice to Sophomores


Courtesy of U-High Midway

As sophomores get ready for next year, some fellow mustangs have a few pieces of advice.

Suhani Bhanvadia, Section Editor

Last week, counselors began the process of signing students up for classes for the 2021-2022 school year.  Since YLHS offers an abundance of classes, it can be hard to pick which classes to take. Especially for sophomores choosing classes for their junior year, picking classes can be intimidating because most students tend to take the most Advanced Placement (AP) classes in their junior year. So here’s some advice from some fellow mustangs who have already gone through the process.

Personally, I took many AP classes because I knew I didn’t have many extracurriculars outside of school. This allowed me to have enough time to study, do homework, and participate in a few smaller activities. One class, in particular, that I recommend any honors or AP student to take is AP English Language Composition. The teacher, Mrs. Ferris, is extremely dedicated to helping her students and making class discussions interesting. The class itself teaches many skills that I find myself applying in my everyday interactions.

You should choose the class you feel comfortable and interested in”

— Joyce Lin (11)

Joyce Lin (11) also advises that students choosing to take AP classes should consider how much they are willing to commit to them. “If you are taking a science course next year, you should choose the class you feel comfortable and interested in […]. For AP Chemistry, if you are struggling with the content taught in Chemistry or Chemistry Honors right now, I suggest you take other science classes. If you are planning to take a lot of AP classes, you should plan ahead of time and have an organized schedule to make sure you are on top of everything.”

Kayla McKechnie (11) recommends taking AP Chemistry because “it’s kind of like a continuation of regular chem, and you won’t forget the material like you might if you took it senior year. Also, Mrs. Ward is a great teacher, and she really makes sure you understand the content. Her casual way of speaking creates a comfortable classroom setting, making for a good learning environment.”

Rebecca Kam (11) also recommends AP Environmental Science to any student because “I think the topics that are covered are extremely relevant to understanding the reasons and science behind the environmental issues that exist today […]. I can assure you that this class never gets boring.”

Another class that teaches things that can be applied to real-life is AP Physics. Ameerah Hirji (11) says “it might seem quite daunting at first, but once the year progresses, you’ll be able to apply all of the concepts you learned to real life and it’s fascinating. Not only will you be able to understand how the world works, but you’ll also gain valuable course experience for all high school and college endeavors.”

When planning for junior year, another aspect to consider is standardized testing like the SAT and ACT. Although UC schools are no longer requiring students to take these tests, if you plan on applying to other schools, it is important to start studying early and planning for when you will take them. I took a few online preparation classes, but if you do not want to pay for outside help, there are many free practice materials online.

Planning your junior years may be complex and intimidating, so the best way to plan for the future is to remember your abilities and goals. Customizing your schedule and extracurriculars to best fit yourself will not only alleviate some stress but will also allow colleges to learn more about the type of person you are through your application.