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The Secrets of a Duel Enrollment Student

Okay, they are all in the same boat as you. You got this. You aren’t in “their territory” this is neutral ground. They’re just coming to college for the first time too. What doesn’t it matter if you are still in high school and they’re freshmen in college? They’re only a year or so older. Buck up! You got this.

This is what I tell myself at least.

Hi, I am a duel enrollment student. I have always been uncomfortable being the new kid at someone’s school, but this was different. I was a high school student at college. I didn’t even have my own room at my house, and these people were ADULTS. They had cars and were living on their own. Sure I had heard college was nothing like high school, but that still didn’t keep me from scurrying to the back of the room and watching everyone quietly from my corner.

The first day of my taste of college was intimidating. My brain kept whispering dark thoughts in the back of my mind. What if I wasn’t smart enough to get good grades? What if no one liked me? What if people thought I was stuck up coming to college so early in my life? What if? What if?

My ‘what if’ fears are always the worst, but there I was. There was NO way I was getting back up and leaving the room. They would certainly know something was up then. I was doing this.

A lot of people have asked me what it was like to go to college as a high school student. When I first started I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea. I have always struggled with school. Please, don’t mistake that I was failing high school (because I wasn’t), but I had to work hard, really hard, for a good grade. I didn’t feel comfortable in my academic level to compete at a college expectation.

Despite that, my parents thought I should give it a shot since I was given a wonderful opportunity. The next thing I knew I was being dragged around Financial Aid and Student Accounts getting everything set up (that was a huge learning experience in itself).

I was still indecisive to what my major was going to be, but that is the beauty of a duel enrollment student. You don’t have to know what you want to be when you grow up. You are still a kid. You still have time. Trust me there are PLENTY of basic classes that everyone has to take at a university, no matter what your major is.

Do you want to know what another great thing about being a duel enrollment student is? You don’t have a minimum amount of credit hours, or classes, you have to take. If you go to college as a fulltime student you have to take a set amount of classes, and if you have a scholarship you might have to take even more classes to maintain your scholarship. I only took a few classes each semester so I could focus on making good grades while I was getting used to how the college life worked.

I will admit that there were days I cursed myself, and my parents, for putting me through that (especially when finals came rolling around), but I am truly grateful to myself, and them, for making me go. Maybe it is not the right path for you to take, but it was definitely mine. I made many friends and connections, I was able to gain a very solid foundation for my GPA, and I got a job on the campus.

I highly encourage everyone who has the opportunity to become a duel enrollment student to seriously consider it. It is a marvelous opportunity that many people, sadly, do not have the chance to receive.

“Hi,” the seat beside me is full, and complete with a smile. “This is my first class.”

I grinned back, “Mine too. Are you nervous?”

“A little bit, yeah,” the smile widened. “You?”

I laughed, “Kinda.”

Yeah. You got this.



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