What do you want to do when you are older? What classes are you taking to pursue that career? These are the questions that many high school students at Prairie High School receive when questioned about their thoughts for their futures.


The very thought of growing up scares many in high school. “It’s nerve-racking thinking about your future, and thinking you might make a mistake in which path you want to go down,” says Megan Fear, a Prairie High School sophomore about deciding what courses she would like to take.


Between Prairie and Kirkwood Community College there are over 200 classes for students to take. And with many students to help, Mr. Stoffer, one of the three counselors for Prairie, it can be a bit much to handle.


“At times [it can be stressful] but it’s a part of my job that I really enjoy when working with students, helping them take those classes, so meeting with them individually is time-consuming, but I enjoy it,” Stoffer says about the many students he helps.


With only 8 periods in a day, lots of students can struggle with deciding how to build their schedules.


“Many students, like myself, struggle with what to put in their schedules. Some want to take GenEd classes [core college classes] before they get to college, but others want to do electives to explore different career paths,” Grace Estenson, a sophomore at Prairie, says about the struggles of looking for classes.


But the counselors also see that with so many choices, it can be a tough decision: “some students are focused and have a solid direction when they come in and some don’t know where to start. So that’s why it’s important to ask questions and talk to their counselor,” says Stoffer.


Many students like to sit back their senior year and have open classes, but Mr. Stoffer said that that’s the opposite of what you should be doing. “You [should] fill your schedule so they can transition you and help you find your path after high school,” Stoffer explains.


But not to worry, there are three amazing counselor’s that would love to help answer your questions.


Mr. Stoffer states, “Don’t sit back and expect things to happen, go and ask questions, go to someone you trust. The best way to relieve stress is to find answers to the things you’re stressing about and there are a lot of people who will help here. The worst thing you can do is do nothing.”


So ask those questions. Get those classes you want. Don’t let someone else take your spot in the class you want. Be proactive with your future.


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