When I went to a woman’s self-defense class a few years ago, a woman waiting in line asked me, “Are you a freshman?” With a smile, I replied, “No, I’m a junior.” Her eyes widen, she said, “I’m sorry. I’m a freshman.” I gave a little laugh, “It’s okay. I’m only 18, so I get that a lot.” She looked impressed. I felt a moment of happiness knowing that someone thought I was a genius, then I went back to reality.
“The only reason I’m 18 and a junior is that I enrolled in a dual enrollment program during high school,” I said. Even though I tried to brush it off, she still seemed impressed which made me do a little happy dance. I do alright in school (closer to a 3.0 than a sexy 4.0 GPA), but I’m average at best. Even so, people automatically thinking I’m smart is one huge plus along with the follow:
1. Finished with a ton of college credits
By the time I finished high school, I had 36 credits. All of them were transferable to my selected university (I’m going to my state university). Thanks to high school me, I am a junior for this upcoming school year instead of a sophomore!
2. Got used a college schedule
For my first two years in middle school, I had a different daily schedule. So, when I moved across the country for 8th grade year, I thought that the rest of my schedule was missing when I only saw one schedule. Although I got used to both of each schedule, the college is the perfect hybrid between the two.
Even though I take the same classes on Monday and Wednesday, I get to have Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday as no school days (I make these my work days). In my dual enrollment program, I still had to attend at least two high school classes which were at scheduled times (the high school was based at my community college), so I did not enjoy complete flexibility as I do now. Still, I got to influence what time I took my college classes, and I got to take my dream class – French (only Spanish was offered at my previous high school).
3. Goofed off without too many consequences
I started my first year of dual enrollment during my 11th grade year. I was riding off the high of my last semester of 10th grade year where I managed to:
-Worked 12 hours a week while having the typical high school schedule
-Had a 3.8 GPA for the semester (Sadly, this has never repeated itself)
-Be a part of a great club that was low maintenance (I was in theatre club that only met less than four times a month. In addition, we only played improvisational games. Could any club possibly tap this level of amusement?!)
-Read a lot of non-fiction books during lunch
-Played Sim’s Free play like there was no tomorrow
I thought I would tear through my 11th and 12 th grade year. Instead, I did well but not to the level I thought I would. My new list of achievements by the end of my dual enrollment program more like this:
-I somehow passed two college science classes that had labs (just barely, but no more science! Note: Science seems interesting, but I tend to do the worst in science classes)
-I did well in my French classes and could still read and write in French
-I managed not to fail Algebra 2 (high school class) and did well in Pre-calculus (high school)
-I got an award from my English high school teacher
-I had awesome high school teachers and a counselor
-I did not burn my high school diploma (by the end of it, I was ready to set fire to this piece of paper. I blame this feeling on stress I was feeling from starting a new chapter).
4. Took classes I Always Wanted (Alternatively- Why aren’t there more electives in high school)
One of my dreams since 6th grade was to learn French. I hoped that I would eventually take French in high school. At first, it seemed like this dream would never happening when my chosen high school only offered Spanish. I tried to learn French on my own but that didn’t work out. At the time I didn’t know what conjugation meant or how it fit into learning a language.
Finally, when I joined my dual enrollment program for my 11th and 12 th grade year, I was able to take French 112 and French 113 during 11th grade. I would have taken two more semesters of it, but the drive to the campus that had more French classes was too far from my house. Thanks to learning French, I fell in love with personal finance. Not to mention, I learned how to learn.
In all, I’m so happy that I did a dual enrollment program! It’s not all butterflies and rainbows, but the experience helped shape who I am today. At least for me, dual enrollment was worth it!