Believe it or not, everyone’s college journey begins in high school. From researching colleges, going on campus tours and even those few daring students choosing to apply early decision to their dream schools, most students start their college journey before officially becoming an undergrad.
Like everyone else, my college journey began in high school.
I always knew I was ambitious. Even at a young age, I worked towards what I wanted both academically and personally. You could see me handing in that extra credit assignment even if I didn’t need it because “you never know.”
So of course when college classes were offered through my high school, I signed up for as many as I was allowed throughout the years, keen on saving as much time and money on college as possible. Looking back, it proved one of my best decisions in regards to college, since I’m now able to graduate with my B.A. in English a year earlier.
It wasn’t as easy as just signing up for the classes, though.
Certain classes, those pesky pre-req’s and elective classes you know you don’t want to take in college, were only offered in the morning. At 7:10 a.m. to be precise. Most high school juniors and seniors, even freshmen or sophomores with early senioritis, wouldn’t be caught dead on school grounds before the first bell rings at 8:05 a.m. They preferred to stroll into class with a Dunkin or Starbucks coffee; but, being my ambitious self, I didn’t mind that extra class tacked on before my first period. Until, however, I remembered a little thing called traffic.
Learning about the bus routes and what times the roads were the busiest sounds exactly as it seems: stressful. It took many crowded buses and making it to class right before they called my name to learn how to grab a seat on a semi-empty bus. That is, without rushing to class like a maniac. Once I got the hang of it, the ride from my stop to school became easy and peaceful.
This public transportation learning experience led me to take the empty and blissfully quiet 6:20 a.m. bus. These early morning hours were perfect for studying or listening to music without having to blast it; even for sitting in my own seat without having to share with someone smoking a Juul or vape right in my face. It’s never pleasant taking public transportation with a bunch of rowdy teenagers, but there’s nothing more aggravating than having someone blow smoke in your face when you’ve just barely woken up.
My usual commute of 45 minutes took only 20 minutes. This gave me some newfound time to study or get a bite to eat before my morning class started and also leaving me utterly exhausted as the day went on.
Despite the frustration and anxiety of learning about the MTA service times, taking these college-level classes served as excellent preparation for my freshman year.
Luckily, I already felt accustomed to the higher expectations and heavier workload, so I experienced a smooth transition into college without much anxiety in terms of school work.
The opportunity to take college morning classes in high school really helped me along my college journey — it allowed me to stay motivated despite the heavy workload and kept me as ambitious as the day I signed up for the classes. Without taking these classes early on, I would not graduate with my degree in 2021 or get the opportunity to take graduate classes while still completing undergrad.
Taking these morning classes gave me a new perspective on life as an early bird. I gained invaluable knowledge learning about interesting topics for free — all while taking the class with old friends and meeting new ones.