I Need to Drop Something, But What?

<p>Next year will be my senior year, and I have 9 different classes (some are both activities and classes, like Band and Student Council) that I want to take, but I only have 7 slots in my schedule (I can maybe squeak in 8 slots). The problem is, I like them all, but I have to drop a few of them in order to make my schedule work. Can you give me some thoughts, especially with relation to how certain choices may affect my college admissions?</p>

<p>My four core classes are set in stone: there's no not doing those.</p>

<p>That gives me three slots left in my scheduling, but five things I want to do.
Marching Band/Band--I have done this for three years already and have played French horn for seven years (8 at the end of this year). But it is sooo time consuming and tiring. And it really is the thing I am least passionate about on my list (though I still like it and would have a chance at being a marching band section leader next year).
College-Level Philosophy Seminar--One of my teachers from sophomore year came forward to just seven students and asked if us if we would like to do a college-level, discussion style philosophy seminar with him next year. He chose us since we were the most active and intelligent students in his class last year, and he is an amazing teacher. The seminar would be college-level and college-style (i.e. grade based on a few larger writing assignments), and it sounds immensely fun to me. I would love, love love to do this, but it is in direct conflict with band. On one hand, I would love this more than band, but on the other, would quitting band after three years be seen as a lack of commitment?
Independent Study Foreign Language--I will have gotten through German 4 by the end of this school year, and my school doesn't offer German 5. Will it be okay to the most selective schools to stop at German 4 if my school does not offer past it? Or should I really be trying to take an independent study in German 5?
Student Council--I've done this for all the years of high school and would have a serious shot at being Student Body President next year. I would like to do this next year, but it takes up a class period. At the same time, I've gotten involved in citywide and statewide youth councils and hold leadership positions there, so Student Council is by no means the biggest thing I am doing.
Debate Captain--Yes, this takes up a class period, but I am the strongest member on my team and my coach loves me to death (and would love me even more if I were debate captain next year). And I absolutely love speech and debate to death. It is my favorite extracurricular activity that I do.</p>

<p>Thoughts? Thanks...</p>

<p>Well, the problem here is that you are only focusing on what's great about each one. Try to sit down and list the positives and negatives of each in an objective way (as hard as it sounds). That being said, keep at least one of the things you "really really love" because that's really what matters most. From an EC standpoint, they are all really good, so it comes down to you. I would rank them as follows:</p>

<p>Marching Band
Debate Captain
Student Council
Seminar
Independent Study - German</p>

<p>Again, this is a completely objective, outsider's point of view - I wouldn't completely listen to me in your situation since * you'll * be the one stuck with these for a year.</p>

<p>(imo you can drop German...if you want to learn that bad do a real "self study" outside of school. At this point, I'm sure you can teach yourself from watching shows and checking in with your old German teacher to see what you can do)</p>

<p>You say you don't like Band. Not sure why you're hesitating. Heck, you sound like you're only doing the German to get into a college rather than passion for a language, and 4 years is plenty for any college, so you could easily drop that. Then, Student Council would be easy to drop too since it's not an academic subject.</p>

<p>Really, there's no need to agonize. Not sure why you're even considering dropping an amazing philosophy course or your "favorite extracurricular activity" over those three.</p>

<p>Ask yourself this: if you submitted your college apps based solely on your 1st three years' record and NO ONE would see your senior schedule, what would you do?</p>

<p>That's your template. </p>

<p>I dropped band Senior after 9 years on my instrument because of similar conflicts as yours. Never gave it a 2nd thought. Didn't affect me a tiny bit.</p>

<p>I'm a parent. I would encourage you to do the philosophy course and the debate club -- the two most interesting things to you. You have all the German points you need and can be expected to accumulate. Student Council is nice -- but not at the expense of academics. Band is a lot of fun -- but dropping it for the two more academic pursuits is absolutely fine. </p>

<p>Have a great senior year!</p>

<p>My recommendation is that you drop German. Your school only offers four years. You have completed four years. You are done. You might want to take the German SAT II this summer though while everything is still fresh in your mind. You can keep up your current level of fluency by occasionally reading/watching/listening to something on the web.</p>

<p>Only pursue the Independent Study for with German IF you are absolutely passionate about the language AND if you can do so with another human being. Language is mastered through human-human interaction. You will not get far (or have much fun) if you do not have a regularly scheduled session with whoever your instructor is.</p>

<p>Why do I recommend staying in band? Because you wrote this: "I still like it and would have a chance at being a marching band section leader next year". Knowing the marching bands that I know, this is a big deal.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the recommendations.</p>

<p>For one, I think I will let German go (from my school schedule at least). I would like to keep up studying it outside of school, and my teacher would probably be receptive to me coming in to her for help. It would be nice to prepare for the SAT II in German.</p>

<p>I'll have to think about the band vs. philosophy issue. I will definitely try to do debate captain I think, especially since my coach REALLY needs me.</p>

<p>Thanks much!</p>

<p>If you and your teacher would like a target to work toward, you could consider prepping for the German CLEP exam German</a> Language | CLEP This exam is computer-based and can be taken at any time (unlike the AP and SAT exams) and is about midway between those two exams in length and difficulty. Depending on your score, and the college or U you end up attending, you can place out of up to two years of college-level German. Or as Happykid put it after her Spanish CLEP, the cheapest 12 credits she will ever earn.</p>

<p>dump band AND German. Do take the German Subject test.
What you may not realize is how time consuming the whole college application process can be during your Sr year first semester. It's like having a part time job, on top of taking your most challenging classes!. So, if at all possible, give yourself a free period so you have time to do homework, study for the German test, and do research on colleges, write your essays, fill out your applications , ask your teachers for recommendations and follow up on to make sure all the elements of your applications have been submitted on time.</p>

<p>Why not continue studying the french horn privately and do marching band second semester of senior year? That way you can do the amazing philosophy class. You can always explain that you had a schedule conflict in your applications and will be resuming band in the following semester. </p>

<p>And I agree that you should drop the German self-study - see if you can take the SAT II at the end of this year and get a high enough score to opt out of language requirement in college.</p>

<p>"Why not continue studying the french horn privately and do marching band second semester of senior year? That way you can do the amazing philosophy class. You can always explain that you had a schedule conflict in your applications and will be resuming band in the following semester. </p>

<p>And I agree that you should drop the German self-study - see if you can take the SAT II at the end of this year and get a high enough score to opt out of language requirement in college."</p>

<p>I wish I could do this, but my family hasn't had the money to get a French horn, so I've rented from the school the last few years. Since I wouldn't be in band at all, my director probably wouldn't let me rent a horn again (he'd want to save it for people actually playing in the band). I will probably explain it as a scheduling conflict, but by not doing band first semester, by my band's rules, I will not be able to do it second semester. So I'll have to think about what to do with that, but if I can explain the scheduling conflict, I hope that colleges will be understanding.</p>

<p>As for the German, I think I will work towards the SAT II, but I have a feeling my school's program lags a little (i.e. our German 4 is really German 3 or so), so it may take a bit of self-study to get prepared for. I wonder if I'll be able to do it or not before I apply for colleges... If I end up having trouble fitting the German SAT II in, I may be able to at least sign up for a german 5 independent study the second semester (following the philosophy study) to at least show my dedication and interest.</p>

<p>But thanks for the thoughts!</p>

<p>Edit: Though considering that the German SAT subject test is only given in June, I should try to study for it for the end of this year, methinks. Or study for the exam with listening in November...</p>

<p>study for the exam with listening in November...</p>

<p>no, no, no!! you dont want to do that!! Its MUCH too difficult. Take the test in June. </p>

<p>drop band then. You said it is so tiring and you will need to focus on your classes and have time to apply to colleges next semester. So there is NO reason to feel guilty about dropping something that you don't have time for! you can put 8 years of French horn on your application- that is a LOT and shows commitment! And colleges DO understand schedule conflicts.</p>

<p>"Since I wouldn't be in band at all, my director probably wouldn't let me rent a horn again (he'd want to save it for people actually playing in the band). I will probably explain it as a scheduling conflict, but by not doing band first semester, by my band's rules, I will not be able to do it second semester."</p>

<p>But you won't know until you ask. If you were playing an instrument that 20 others play, I'd say this might be true, but French Horn? My guess is that after all these years that he or she has known you, the band teacher would be pretty sympathetic to your desire to continue to play. Unless there is someone else waiting for your instrument, it may just be sitting there first semester. Of course, if you don't want to play, then don't. Likewise the 'rule' about second semester - there may be some flexibility. If you don't ask, then the answer is definitely 'no' but you'd be surprised at how many times in life the 'rules' get modified. If you really want to continue, you lose nothing by asking.</p>