When I was in high school, we were allowed to choose three electives each semester. Electives were subjects that weren't part of the basic curriculum. They included things like music, journalism, art, and various kinds of team sports. Choosing some of these subjects to study gave me a chance to experiment. I was able to get a head start on what I was going to study in college.
However, college preparation shouldn't be the main factor. I think all students should be allowed to take a certain number of courses just because they're interested in them. For many students, high school is the last chance to learn about things they're interested in. Maybe once they have a job there won't be time for studying.
Of course, it's also important that students study certain basic subjects. If I'd had a choice, I know I wouldn't have studied mathematics or science. I wasn't very interested in them. However, once I was in class, I found myself getting interested. I wouldn't have known this if I'd been given the choice, because I would have chosen not to take the courses.
High school students aren't always the best judges of what they'll find useful in the years ahead. They need the guidance of experts in the field of education. However, they also need some freedom to follow their curiosity and individual interests. They should be given the freedom to choose some courses, while being required to take others.