A Few Good Courses

Nate Cohen, Editor-in-Chief

Each February as the snowy winter weather puts on its final performances, students across Great Neck South begin selecting their course-load for the following year. While this process is surely exciting, it can also be quite stressful. With the high standards of college admissions to consider, students often find themselves conflicted between choosing what they are interested in taking and what they feel “looks good” on their resume. Additionally, many must grapple between a desire to take advanced courses and a fear of overburdening themselves. As a graduating senior who has taken a wide variety of courses, I can tell you with certainty that there are no perfect decisions. However, there are some classes I would recommend taking regardless of these previous factors. To be clear, these are not the only amazing classes at South High, nor are they necessarily the best classes for you personally. Moreover, several of these classes require attaining a teacher recommendation or a minimum grade in a previous course. However, if you meet the enrollment criteria and are looking for a few suggestions, I believe you can’t go wrong with any of the following.

AP Environmental Science

Climate Change — it’s among the biggest threats facing humanity in the coming decades. Assuming current trends continue, climate change will create hundreds of millions of refugees, greatly increase the spread of deadly diseases, and lead to a significant uptick in floods, wildfires, and droughts. If our generation is to solve this imminent crisis, we must first understand the forces that contribute to it, the factors that have prevented collective action, and the solutions that can be implemented going forward. And there is no better way to receive a crash course on this valuable information than by enrolling in AP Environmental Science. In addition to climate change, AP Environmental Science teaches students a vast array of other topics ranging from the causes of water pollution to the benefits of renewable energy. The common thread between these units is that they all provide insight into how to be a good steward of the Earth. And given all the environmental problems our planet currently faces, I believe there are few things more worthy of understanding than that.

AP U.S. Government and Politics

For many students, the thought of taking a political course is incredibly unappealing. Frankly, while I disagree with that perspective, I also genuinely understand it. The 24-hour news cycle is exhausting, to say the least, and political discussions can too often devolve into screaming matches that evoke unnecessary tension and animosity. However, even if you do not care about politics, you probably want to live in a country where you are safe, free, and can make ends meet. Yet, if we do not understand our government or the politics that impact what it can accomplish, any effort to influence it will be futile. Covering everything from political parties to the branches of government, AP U.S. Government and Politics is a perfect course to educate you on American government and prepare you for a lifetime of engaged and active citizenship.

AP English Language and Composition

Life requires persuasion. In high school, you may find yourself needing to persuade your parents to let you stay out past curfew, a teacher to let you hand in your homework late, or an admission representative to accept you into a certain college. But, if you do not understand how to effectively make your case, it will be nearly impossible to convince others of your viewpoint. Enter AP Language. This advanced 11th-grade course provides students with a deep understanding of rhetoric. Whether it’s establishing your credibility or beginning an argument with the audience’s assumptions, the rhetorical techniques taught in AP Language are certain to make any student a more persuasive writer and generally more compelling communicator.

AP Psychology

Do you ever wonder why groups of students all dress the same way? Have you pondered the origin of your personality? Are you curious about what causes human prejudice? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to take a good look at AP Psychology. Open to all juniors and seniors with at least a B in Biology, this Advanced Placement elective provides an engaging and fascinating look into the workings of the mind. Moreover, psychology’s location at the crossroads between science and the humanities makes this course an alluring option for students of all academic interests.


Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances are inevitable in life. No matter how much you plan everything or organize, there is almost always some factor that will appear at the very last moment. When these problems emerge, there is usually no time left to plan and generally, the best response is to go with the flow and improvise. However, if you are like most people, you may find improvising to be quite difficult. Given that this way is an unavoidable part of life, I believe it is incredibly beneficial to master the art of improvisation. That is what makes Improv such a great class. Through a variety of engaging games and activities, this course teaches students to let go of what they can not control and think on their feet, all in a safe and supportive environment. Whether you are looking to improve your improvisation skills, fill an art credit, or just have some fun, you can’t go wrong by taking Improv.