A Higher GPA at the Cost of Creativity



From culinary arts to ceramics, the opportunities are endless at Freedom. But the restricting and pressuring society of Northern Virginia keeps students like me from enrolling in them.

Transitioning from the structured middle school schedules to the freedom in high school, the creative classes that seemed beneficial and educational were appealing to me. I have always liked cooking and baking, so I was excited for the chance to pursue that in a class. However, each year as more electives open up, I find myself not choosing those classes, and finding ones that would look better on a college application. 

The extreme competition between our peers diminishes the creative freedom we have as students and drives the majority to honors, dual enrollment and, especially, AP classes. I even found myself asking my counselor if I could drop my study hall in order to take another elective, not that I was genuinely interested in, but one that had many credits and serves as a college course. 

The extra 0.5 or 1.0 boost we can receive for one class almost completely takes the others out of the running, such as the arts, because they can be seen as not beneficial to the college transcripts they will be sending to schools their senior year. In theory, students should pick courses that they are genuinely interested in, but in reality, that is not possible. 

Being competitive in this area is costing us our creative childhoods which once had space for the arts, cooking and music, but is no longer possible due to the high pressures of keeping grades and GPAs above an arbitrary amount that is acceptable.