The future hidden within atypical classes


Preksha Kedilaya

Senior John Mendelin singing his solo in the jazz song “Café” at a rehearsal for Leading Tones.

Preksha Kedilaya, News Editor

For many students, the future is constantly in question. The number of roads to go down can seem overwhelming to some, especially to those that have not yet found a passion to pursue. Fortunately, Pleasant Valley offers many elective classes that can help clear up the future for those who feel lost. 

The wide range of unique classes PV offers has given seniors Sam Rothbardt, John Mendelin and Chloe Clemons the chance to find a passion to pursue as a career. If not for these students taking a chance on these atypical classes, they would still be searching for something to spark their interest. 

During his junior year, Rothbardt decided to take Publications to fill his schedule. “I came in not knowing much about it at all and found something I was good at. It impacted my future because I will be studying journalism.” Rothbardt continues, “If not for journalism I would have searched around until something piqued my interest and I’m glad that didn’t have to happen.”

Mendelin had a similar life-altering experience with the jazz choir program. “Vocal Jazz at PV has been crucial to my development as a musician because it opened up so many avenues for me to explore,” he excites. “I think I would still be pursuing a music major next year even if I had never been a part of a vocal jazz program, but I can definitely thank the vocal jazz experiences I’ve had for fostering the unique love for music I have now.”

Clemons experienced a drastic career choice change because of a class she took. “Before I took a child development class my career choice was geared toward medicine.” After taking the class, Clemons says, “I loved being around the kids and I found their behavior and development fascinating, so I decided to change my career path to elementary education.” Clemons took one extra elective class to fill up her schedule, and this helped her find something she wanted to continue for a career. Although some may say it is just luck, taking a wider variety of elective classes may change that luck into a reality.

Rothbardt stresses, “It’s really important that students have one activity where they can be themselves. For me, I can be myself working on the Shield and now I could make a career out of it.” Mendelin adds, “The advice I would give to any high schooler right now is to make your experience as varied as possible and try anything that even remotely interests you whether it’s a class in school or extracurricular.” 

As Rothbardt, Mendelin and Clemons agree, taking elective classes can do much more than filling up a schedule. PV’s wide range of elective classes and extracurriculars allows students to branch out from the general classes and search for something that may spark an interest. Mendelin encourages, “It could very easily be the beginning of a lifelong passion.”