A few days ago I had the opportunity to meet with my academic councilor and map out my plan for graduation. Assuming that everything goes well and I get into all of the classes that I need I'm set to graduate either Fall 2014 or Winter 2015 just depending on when I do my internship and how things pan out. So, I'm sure that you're all asking yourself, "What? 2015? That's 4 years from when you graduated high school. If you're just going to graduate then anyway, what's the point in doing AP classes and Running Start?" Well, even if you weren't asking those questions I was, until I started thinking about it.
In order for a student to graduate in four years without taking any college classes before hand, she has to take most semesters at least if not more than 15 credits, which can be really stressful. So a lot of times she end up staying for another year or at least part of one or working through the spring/summer. By taking classes earlier it means that I don't have to ever take more than 15 credits. In fact, most of my semesters I'm taking less than 15. I'm still going full time, but with 13 or 14 credits. Sure I could overload and graduate in 3 years or something, but why stress myself out when I don't have to. Aside from peace of mind, less credit hours also gives more more time to do things. That means that I'll be able to "enjoy the college experience" more and that I'll have more time to work so I'll be better financially prepared. Since I still have a little open room in all of my schedules if for some reason something did go wrong with a class, I could fit it in and still not have to go overtime. Also, if nothing goes wrong, it gives me room to take fun classes like ballroom or Intro to Wilderness Exploration ( I really wanted to take this one but it was full).
I could technically graduate really soon if I wanted to push myself like crazy, but why do that? I already had crazy two years my last two years in high school and besides, if I graduate too young I'll actually have less chance of being hired because of my age (it's already a big enough pain that a lot of times people are reluctant to listen to my advice or take me seriously because I'm younger than they are).
So was the AP testing, college in the high school and running start worth it? I think so. Out of the deal I was able to challenge myself more in high school, I think make and keep better friends, save some money on tuition, get a more diverse education, and get a leg up on college. And even though a college jump start won't necessarily get me out of University faster, it will allow me to have a better time here, make more money, be less stressed, and make sure that I graduate on time.
Where was I going with all of this? I'm thankful for something right? Well then I guess that I'm thankful for my education. For all of the wonderful opportunities that I've had to further it and to learn and grow as a person. I've had a lot of amazing programs and people that have helped me get the most out of my educating years and I'm really grateful for that. Also, that I had an awesome high school councilor and parents who taught me how to plan for classes and the future like a boss! I just remembered a whole lot more that I want to say about education, but this post should probably end soon, so maybe I'll talk about it later!