High school electives are courses that are offered alongside the required core courses. They are popular because they give teenagers the opportunity to choose courses that speak to their talents and hobbies instead of following the monotony of high school.

Choosing the right combination of electives can be tough, especially when it comes to applying for colleges and preparing for your future. If you aren’t sure what your best options are, it’s best to meet with a guidance counselor or speak to college admissions, but for now, we’re here to help.

We’ve researched and narrowed down some of the most popular choices of high school electives that promise to be fun while preparing you for college or entering the workforce. 

1. Cooking 

Not only is cooking a fun elective to take, but it’s also very practical because it teaches teenagers about nutrition, basic cooking techniques, and food safety.

These skills will follow through adulthood and help students make healthier choices and feel comfortable preparing their own meals. Some high schools even offer a culinary arts elective where students can learn more advanced culinary techniques before entering a college-level culinary arts program. 

2. Specialized Sports  

Participating in a specialized sport elective like basketball, soccer, football, or dance is a great way for students to spend time doing what they love while remaining physically active.

Specialized sports also teach important life skills like leadership, teamwork, discipline, time management, sportsmanship, and how to work under pressure. These skills will become very important as you navigate through college and entering the workforce. 

3. School Yearbook 

Working on the school yearbook is another fun elective that teaches important skills that will help you in adulthood. It can be a lot of work, but it certainly beats sitting in another history or mathematics class!

If you participate in developing your school’s yearbook, you can expect to learn skills like budgeting, computer design, photography, marketing, and project management. 

4. Dramatic Arts

If you have an interest in the performance arts, you should consider taking drama as one of your high school electives. Not only will you learn an appreciation for the arts and theatre, but you will have fun doing it too!

Dramatic arts participation encourages creative thinking, problem-solving and self-expression while fostering teamwork, empathy, and respect for each other as performers. Involvement in a dramatic arts elective has shown to build confidence in teens and assist with the development of important speech, communication, and presentation skills. 

5. Auto mechanics 

For those with a passion for cars, taking an auto mechanics course as a high school elective is a no brainer. Not only will you get to spend time learning about something you are passionate about, but you will also get valuable hands-on experience that you can take with you after completing the course.

Even if you don’t really care about cars, it’s still a skill that can save you a small fortune in the future. It’ll be harder for a mechanic to rip you off, and you’ll be able to do some of the smaller jobs yourself. Knowing the first thing or two about cars can literally save you thousands and thousands of dollars throughout your life, and that’s a low-end estimate.

Students who participate in an auto mechanics elective learn how to work in a fast-paced environment, develop problem-solving skills, and improve manual dexterity. You’ll learn how to take care of basic scheduled maintenance like oil changes, inspect vehicles, and how to troubleshoot repairs in both gas- and diesel-powered vehicles.

Whether you are interested in learning for personal knowledge or getting a head start as an auto technician, you can’t go wrong with an elective in auto mechanics. 

Final Thoughts

Trying to plan your future can feel like a series of riddles for teens. It’s not so much one huge plan, but a series of tiny plans and choices that will shape who you are. An extra class here and there might seem unappealing at the moment when you’d rather have free time, but it can be very useful in the big picture!

Mat Woods
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Mat Woods

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