Independent studies are a privilege FHC students should consider

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Independent studies are all about individuality and self-dependence—they allow you to prepare for college. With certain due dates, self-reliant work, and honing in on time management skills, they also allow students to dedicate class time to a subject that they’re passionate about.  

Junior Caroline Logan, studying AP Research, finds her choice to take part in independent study helpful for future reference. 

“[My independent study] helps teach me how to synthesize, how to do my own research, and how different disciplines conduct research,” Caroline said. 

After finishing her year in AP Seminar, she wanted to follow up with research and projects, yet FHC didn’t have a regular class for AP Research, so she chose to take it as an independent study. She’s taking the opportunity to push herself—working hard on her project about how the allocation of funding by school districts impacts student success and achievement in the state of Michigan. 

Although Caroline never had the intention of participating in an independent study, she feels no regret about taking the class. 

“I always knew it was an option, just never had any intentions of doing [an independent study],” Caroline said, “[AP Research is] one of the few classes you can do as an independent study without missing anything at all. I don’t think I would’ve taken it if I wasn’t in this situation.”

I never really wanted to [take an independent study] because I didn’t really know much about them, but if I had, I would’ve taken one. ”

— Theryn Hallock

Independent studies not only benefit students with college-based academics and expectations, but senior Theryn Hallock finds taking her independent study—Film Production and TV Broadcasting—to be beneficial when learning about all aspects of technology. 

“[I] get to learn a ton of new things with technology,” Theryn said, “and [I] have the freedom to edit and play around with technology however [I] want—definitely more pros than cons.” 

Unlike Caroline, Theryn wasn’t aware there was an option to partake in an independent study until her junior year.  She sometimes regrets not knowing, but if she had been aware sooner, she would’ve taken one. Although, with this knowledge now, she has no regrets about taking this study because she loves everything about the technological side of her life. 

“I didn’t know there was such a thing as an independent study until last year, my junior year,” Theryn said, “when I found out seniors were doing what I’m doing now for [Jeff] Manders. I never really wanted to [take an independent study] because I didn’t really know much about them, but if I had, I would’ve taken one.”

For some people, however, an independent study can be a time to work on homework or catch up on studying for all subjects. For senior Abbey Calderwood, the opportunity to have school hours to finish up tasks is super beneficial to be able to continue her job as student director for the FHC Theatre department.

“I do an independent study because it gives me time to catch up on work and get stuff ready for rehearsal,” Abbey said. “It really helps me get caught up.”

Along with Theryn, Abbey has no regrets in involving herself with an independent study. She finds it refreshing to have a break in her day, especially if she can put a lot of time and effort into production. 

“Sometimes, I’ll have time to work on theatre things,” Abbey said, “such as getting scripts together or figuring out plans for the rehearsal.”

The chance to partake in an independent study allows students to prepare for their futures or just prepare for a potential interest in a career. They cover all the bases of certain studies, like technology for Theryn, or simply allows students to soak in their core classes by finishing up projects or homework so they can focus on outside activities, like Abbey with the student director.

No matter what the subject is, it can be a refreshing hour of a student’s day just to be alone and work independently on whatever they may be passionate about. 

The opportunity to take an independent study isn’t widely known throughout FHC, and students who didn’t know about the option to dive into it as underclassmen have found no regrets in taking the chance to independently work on a subject they now love. 

“I would recommend independent studies for those thinking about it,” Caroline said. “It’s a stress-free break, but you can also do very productive work.”