I remember sitting in high school, thinking about my future and wondering where I would end up once I graduated. I had big plans. I wanted to go to Harvard, which I realize was unrealistic, but at least I had aspirations. My high school offered a post secondary option to attend the local community college early for those students that had qualifying grades and exam scores. So, of course, I began the process of enrolling in the program. It would give me two years of free college, since I would be starting college courses at the beginning of my junior year of high school.
Honestly, it was scary at first. I was a sixteen year old kid taking classes with people that were ten years older than me. Some of them already had kids of their own, and others talked about getting drunk every weekend.
It was liberating in a way, though. I had always found school to be a piece of cake, and was always at the top of my class. Here was something more challenging. The classes were harder, geared for those students that were ten years older than me and had more experience with schooling. It was also unique in that I was able to determine what hours I wanted to be in class instead of attending at the mandated times set by the government.
It was also an opportunity that would bolster my future. I grew up in a single parent household, and my mom was trying to support four of us. There wasn’t a lot of money to go around, and if I wanted to go to college, I was going to have to do it on my own. That was a daunting thought. I didn’t have a job because I was in too many extracurricular activities, so I had no money of my own coming in. When I got accepted into the post secondary program, it was like getting a leg up into furthering my education.
The post secondary program allowed me to test the proverbial waters of what college was like. It gave me experiences I never would have had if I had stayed in my high school. I was able to test out what sorts of classes I liked, and to get the initial indecisiveness of what I wanted to major in out of the way. I took pre-requisite classes that could do to any degree, while also exploring classes of specific degrees. It opened my eyes to what I wanted to do with my future. Post secondary education was one of the best things that I ever could have done when it came to my education and my future.