“Did you hear…” “S/he said…”
Words travel from the upperclassmen to the underclassmen and vice versa. And as with all rumors, each word is distorted in the process of transfer from individual to individual. When the word was “The class was mediocrely difficult,” with a certain number of individuals passing on the word, the word suddenly becomes “The class is impossible.” As such, those with the most accurate sources of information are those who are the closest to the upperclassmen; the rest are in isolation, depending upon the chatter of their friends and the counselors as their only prediction of how a class may be. In the end, the isolated group is at a clear disadvantage, choosing courses that may be at odds with their expectations.
Indeed, counselors are rather objective sources of information, especially with decisions like course selections. Counselor presentations are helpful yet are often a regurgitation of the course selection guide rather than placing emphasis on actual experiences of students within the classroom. Yet experience and a simple overview on paper are different. Words on paper cover only so much as to first-hand experience span from the mood of the classroom to the amount of homework load. As such, many of the students would rather listen to the honest opinions of juniors and seniors.
To add on, by listening and following the upperclassmen’s experiences and suggestions, the underclassmen follow precedents that will bring out the best results. The main premise is that similar individuals will have similar experiences. Underclassmen, naturally, would have a higher probability of feeling the same way as many upperclassmen have felt in their previous years.
Despite the fact that upperclassman may provide a viable suggestion, the means of contact between the different grades are limited. Even with National Honor Society (NHS) members providing a presentation, no actual discussions are being made. Opportunities to talk about truthful opinions of certain courses end up in a mass of rumors and unproved statements.
So what would be the best option for those who desire accurate representation of a classroom when there is not a proper medium for connection or contact with upperclassmen?
The ideal would surely be a conversation between two individuals, which would allow for the most accurate response to a question that may be complex. Although optimal, a face-to-face conversation would require an arduous task to a later awkward conversation. The first demand would be to match a suitable time. Yet with both parties having busy schedules, the first task itself would be taxing.
Rather than a complex direct conversation with upperclassmen, the better option may be to talk to teachers who teach the class. Although some teachers do not follow along with their syllabus, it is the best choice for with lacking contact with juniors and seniors. Furthermore, teachers provide a large array of resources for students to self-assess whether they are fit for the class or not.
Whatever the option may be, it is paramount that all underclassmen are provided with an accurate representation of a class. Even with talking to teachers, options are still limited. Perhaps with more opportunities to gain knowledge of a certain class, underclassmen may have a chance to make a better choice in their future endeavors.