Human Growth & Development: Beyond the Awkward

Noah Stults, Columnist

Human Growth and Development (HG&D) is a series of courses that teach you about your physical and emotional development as an adolescent to an adult. Many students did not appreciate the course and couldn’t find the value in the content, but it can actually be extremely helpful in various ways. Through these courses you will be able to better understand yourself and others, which is an important quality for a satisfying life.

Learning about your body and how it functions is equally as important as any other school subjects, such as math or history. In this class you will learn many things about your body such as your sexual organs, brain development, and secondary sex characteristics. It is important to learn about these things because, in order to live successfully, you need to understand yourself and what is physically happening to you. When you are an adolescent, your body is going through an extreme amount of physical change and it can be confusing, uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even painful. It’s nice to know you’re not the only one going through puberty, and this class provides applicable knowledge that can help you during tough times

Emotions can also be a very complicated element in one’s life and you need to understand them in order to understand yourself. Your emotions control your actions and mood, so they definitely shouldn’t be disregarded; that’s why HG&D dedicates a course to emotional development over time. Learning and understanding your emotions is crucial, because your communication skills will improve. You will also be able to notice other people’s emotions and better understand them, and therefore better react to them. Without this knowledge, you won’t be able to fully understand yourself as a person and you won’t know what decisions are right for you. It’s also difficult to regulate your responses to emotional turmoil when you can’t explain yourself to yourself. This is a pivotal piece of HG&D because it truly has real-time effects on your life.

Pam Wagner is the eighth grade science teacher here at Horizon Honors, and she teaches HG&D to middle schoolers. She believes that HG&D  “is very important because kids need to know about their body in order to make wise decisions.” She explained that most kids underappreciated the lesson when they first come in because they do so with a closed mindset, thinking it is going to be boring or awkward, but she says that many people enjoy it at the end and are extremely thankful for the knowledge. In fact, she says that many people who are in high school and even college come back to ask more questions. Ben Wenig, a sophomore at Horizon Honors, understands its importance as “it expands the understanding about the body.”

HG&D is a unique class with content that not everyone learns as a child, which is why paying attention is so crucial success. It is a fun way to learn about your body and emotions, and provides a safe place where you can ask as many questions as you want. When you take everything from HG&D and actively try to learn from it, there is a good chance that it can positively affect you.