Dual Enrollment: take a class, get high school and college credit
Where I go to school, everyone wants to get dual-enrolled into a college, and for good reason. Ever since I started dual enrollment at the beginning of my junior year, I cut the dreadful five-day-seven-hour school routine into going to one hour classes a couple of times a week. I don’t have to wake up at 6 AM every morning (!!!!) and then get home at 6 PM from cheer practice with little time to eat dinner, chill, or work on assignments. I have the leisure to create my own schedule, and I love it.
Dual enrollment comes with a price. Classes are harder, your money seems to all go through a tiny hole in your pocket, and you can easily miss out on your high school experience [I sound like my mom, but it’s true]. So I have compiled a list of things I wish I would have known before starting this “dual-enrollment” life.
- 1. That stuff is -hard- !!
If you thought that your Algebra II math class with that nice teacher who helped you out on your exam was hard, wait until you’re taking psychology courses from someone with a Doctorate degree in his field! Those “core” classes that you have no choice but to take, even if they aren’t in your intended area of study, can have some pretty serious professors in charge of them. They will expect you to learn all of the material as if you were majoring in that field. Art Appreciation, Intro to Psychology, and Environmental Science are just a few examples of classes such as these. Deadlines go from the high school “Tuesday morning in class” to the college”11:59 PM Sunday online.” Midterms and finals really do cover the ENTIRE class, and group projects still exist :(. YOU CAN DO IT,
- 2. USE and LOVE ratemyprofessor.com
Different from high school, college can have several professors teaching the same class that you get to pick from when you sign up. Don’t sign up for the first English 1102 professor on the list just so you can leave your advisor’s office and go eat some pizza for lunch. That professor will be in charge of your grade for the upcoming semester, so use ratemyprofessor.com to see what past students have to say. You can view overall ratings on the teacher as well as what kind of workload to expect [pop quizzes/ excessive book work/ test layout info, etc.] Whichever teacher for that class has the best reviews, pick him or her. IT WILL SAVE YOU FROM A BAD SEMESTER, YALL!
- 3. Keep up with ‘ya spending
Quite possibly the best and worst part of dual enrollment is being able to eat what you want, whenever! College campuses are loaded with Chick-Fil-A’s, Starbucks, and other ~delicious~ places to eat! When you have a morning class and then afternoon class, you’re going to want to stop and get a cappuccino and bagel for breakfast, a Dr. Pepper between classes, and then a fried chicken sandwich [with waffle fries] for lunch. A month of classes goes by, and the next thing you know you is that you have about 7 cents and a whole bunch of food wrappers in your passenger seat. What I did when this happened was make eating on campus a reward rather than a necessity. Just finished that term paper? Hello Dairy Queen. Studying late in the Starbucks lounge? I’ll take 6 shots of Americano, please. Doing this cut down on how much moolah I spent [and my skinny jeans were thankful, too].
4. Don’t miss out, dude
Being in college is fun and all, but don’t forget about your high school in the process. If you can play a sport or be a part of a club, continue to do so! I still drive to my high school almost daily for cheer practice. It keeps me involved and I get to do all of the fun part of high school without the classes! I talk to and see my friends, go to academic competitions, and participate in pep rallies. It makes me feel as if I’m a part of the school, even though I’m also doing my own thing. So, go to football games on Fridays, go watch the student films in the cafeteria, and stay as involved as you can. You only get to experience this one time [thankfully, and sadly]!