Karen went to a dual credit high school during senior year, earning 35 college credits before she graduated! Read on to learn how her experience prepared her for what lies ahead at university.
My high school graduation felt very…fake. It was hot standing around in my black gown and I felt tired after staying up till midnight decorating my cap, but there was also an underlying surrealness to the whole thing. After all, my classes had technically finished three weeks ago. Some of the other students had already walked across a stage and received a diploma. I realized, waiting outside with all the other students, that I didn’t really consider us “high school” students. Taking dual credit courses had made us college students.
I hadn’t wanted to be a dual credit student at first. It sounded hard and stressful, and I felt like I wouldn’t be able to handle it. My mother, the best persuader in the universe, convinced me to take just two, and next thing I knew I joined a dual credit high school for my senior year. After surviving the two college courses in my previous high school, I knew I could handle a full set of college courses. And I did. I survived them all.
There were times that I felt like an imposter. Here I was, a 16-year-old continually mistaken for being 20, almost always the youngest in the class, and being completely new to the college scene. But I soon realized that I wasn’t the only new one and there were people out there more than willing to help me, from fellow classmates to professors. I was getting experience.
Granted, getting the college experience wasn’t always awesome. Sleepless nights, endless stress, finals, and making sure my grades were up? Not that fun. However, I was figuring out what schedule worked best for me, how I should study for tests, and how important sleep is.
I was adapting to college while being in “high school.” I was taking college courses, so I was treated like a college student. I dealt with difficult professors, hard classes, and unwanted assignments—and it isn’t easy to adapt to a new environment. I wasn’t one of the students who hated it the whole way through, and I wasn’t one of the students who sacrificed summers and winter breaks to graduate with an associate degree, but I worked hard to get up on that stage. I was college ready.
I will be going to university soon, and I feel slightly nervous. Then I remember that I took 35 college credits in high school and that I will be going to college with more experience than the average college freshman. I won’t really find out till this fall semester how much this experience has prepared me, but I won’t be walking in completely clueless. After all, I’ve done this all before!
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