STEM is the future, but I’m a history fanatic

The course guide needs to be diversified to support students pursuing social studies


Ally Nguyen, JagWire editor-in-chief

I’m the self-proclaimed “golden child” of my family, so imagine the euphoria my parents experienced when a six-year-old me came home and proclaimed I wanted to be a doctor — and their expressions of shock 10 years later when I casually mentioned going into social studies instead.

Much to the dismay of my very traditional parents, the prospect of going into medicine brings me no joy. However, for many years, that was the plan. I found math and science a bit boring, but I was decent at them. It wasn’t until I enrolled in the life-changing course AP United States History that I realized I enjoyed the complexity of politics, social justice issues and history. I now plan on pursuing a double major in International Relations and Economics with the hopes of one day becoming an attorney.

While I’m grateful to have discovered my passion in high school, I wish I’d found it before my junior year, and beyond that, I wish there were more steps I could take to prepare for my future.

In the course selection guide, there are 18 different courses to fill the required three science credits; there are 11 courses to fill the required 3.5 social science credits. This divide continues over to the elective portion of the course guide, where technology credits are required and a majority of social studies-based courses can only be counted as a general elective. This isn’t to say that STEM isn’t important — it very much so is — but the unequal balance speaks to the lack of opportunities for me, and students like me, to explore our interests.

I am also in no way arguing that the district is only prioritizing STEM; between STEM, the arts, journalism, business, etc., I get how social studies can get lost in the mix of student interests. I do believe, however, that the district should further their efforts to add complex and advanced humanities classes.

The majority of career paths have adequate opportunities within the course guide, but when it comes to social studies, options are lacking. I understand there are many students with many different interests — let’s make sure all of them are being supported.

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