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The Student News Site of Northside College Preparatory High School

The Hoofbeat

The Student News Site of Northside College Preparatory High School

The Hoofbeat

The Student News Site of Northside College Preparatory High School

The Hoofbeat

Past Articles

“Eat, Sleep, and Have Sanity:” Mrs. Mathews’ Guide to Course Selection

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As the second semester progresses, many Northside students have begun the process of selecting their courses for next year. However, questions about how to choose the right courses often come up for students. We offer the following tips and suggestions as you begin selecting your classes. 

How should you select the classes you take?

Northside counselor Mrs. Mathews says “I always recommend first starting with what classes you have to take and then kind of filling in the pieces from there. It’s important to think about that balance, we want you to be able to sleep and eat and have sanity first and foremost. Let’s build a schedule that supports that.”

She adds “I also think that being cognizant of what your commute is like, what your home responsibilities are, your extracurricular activities, leadership, roles, and what is going to take up your time so that again, we can make a schedule that’s helpful…The right schedule for one student may not be right for another.”

Tanmay Garg (Adv. 603) shared the following advice: “Think about what you like and what is best for you. Take classes that allow you to gain skills throughout your high school career.”

Mrs. Mathews gives advice on course selection for junior year.

How many AP courses should you take?

AP (Advanced Placement) courses are taken by many students during their time at Northside. These courses are designed to prepare students for college life, which can make choosing how many and which ones to take challenging. 

Mrs. Mathews says, “I like the idea of looking at your AP classes and rigor with a stairstep. Going from 1 to 2 to 3 [AP classes] is going to be a much easier transition than going from 1 to 5 classes [from one year to the next].”

Michelle Morales, a senior, (Adv. 406) agreed with Mrs. Mathews. She explained, “Don’t immediately jump into 5 AP classes, start with 1 or 2.” 

Courses and College Applications

With the college application process approaching for rising juniors and seniors, Mrs. Mathews shared her perspective on how to factor your college application into what courses you take.

“When you focus on what works for [your schedule] you will find the right college. I wouldn’t want a college to accept a fake version of you because I don’t think then you would be your happiest, most authentic self on that campus.”

She noted “I’ve had some students in the past with a very long commute and lots of home responsibilities taking two AP classes during their whole time at NCP and they got into a great college. I’ve also had students who have taken five AP classes in a year and they’ve gotten into a great college. Your transcript is a very important part of your college application process, but also keep in mind that it is viewed by admission counselors holistically.” 

Northside’s program of studies guide:

https://www.northsideprep.org/pdf/NCP%20Program%20of%20Studies%202024-2025%20_3_.pdf 

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About the Contributors
Georgia Foster, Staff Writer (News)
Georgia Foster is a junior at our school and is involved in many aspects of the school like clubs and sports. She plays volleyball, lacrosse, and is in many clubs including Ohana and Polish, Best Buddies, MIKVA, and Student Ambassadors. She’s a vegetarian who’s very passionate about our planet and animal rights! Georgia is very involved when it comes to the student body and school events, consistently participating and bringing the energy! Georgia is a friendly face in the halls and if you have any questions about anything she’s written, feel free to ask, as she’s very passionate about journalism and writing in general. #vegetarian 
Ellis Korda, Staff Writer (News)
Ellis is a sophomore at Northside and a staff writer for The Hoofbeat. He is very involved with journalism at Northside, and is the co-president of Journalism Club and part of NCPTV. He is also a member of the tennis team and the chess team, involved with the NCP Green Team, a board member of Ping Pong Club, and a board member of Chess Club. Outside of school, he enjoys playing sports, wildlife photography, and taking care of his guinea pigs and fish. He is always keeping up with politics and sports news. He is looking forward to continuing to write for the newspaper this year. #vegetarian