I’ve been counting down the days until I graduate from high school since my first day as a freshman. I always felt that school did not give me enough of a challenge. I often was frustrated with the amount of busy work. It seemed as though institutionalized education was nothing but an excuse to force students into pointless work in order to keep them occupied.
One day my mom showed me an article.
“It says here that high school students can get ahead by taking college classes through a program called Post-Secondary Options,” she said. “It sounds perfect for you!”
I scanned the article and couldn’t agree more. It sounded like exactly the change that I needed.
We contacted my school counselor for more information. She told us that we would first have to first attend a meeting to learn about the program. Afterward, I would need to receive permission from the school to be in the program (a minimum GPA and counselor recommendation would be required). After that, I would then need to apply to colleges. We were informed that even if the school granted me permission to participate in the PSEOP program, it would be our responsibility to apply and be accepted into a college.
I was so excited to do this!
I decided that I wanted to apply to Baldwin-Wallace College: it was small, artsy and also liberal, which was a perfect combination. I filled out the application and wrote what I thought was a stellar essay. After a few weeks of sitting on pins and needles, I received a letter in the mail with the blue and gold seal. As soon as I picked it up, I knew it was a rejection. It was paper-thin. The letter informed me that B.W. only accepted a very small number of 15-year-olds (my age group at the time) and that, unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut. I was devastated! It seemed like my dreams were not going to come true.
I discussed the next step with my parents. They thought that Cuyahoga Community College would be the perfect choice. It was close, accessible, and still had all of the classes I was looking for. I decided to give it a shot and I was accepted! I was now an official part- time college student and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
Now, as a junior in high school, I am attending Tri-C as a full time student. I don’t take any classes at my high school. I am really enjoying my education and have no regrets. It’s really rewarding and enriching. The classes are actually smaller than my high school classes, the material is more challenging and on top of that, I am earning college credit! At the end of this semester I will have 38 credits racked up, and will have more than half of my bachelor’s degree completed when I graduate high school next year.
If you think you are interested in participating in this program, I recommend that you talk to your school counselor. The deadlines are fast approaching so make sure you don’t procrastinate! I will warn you that there is A LOT of paper work to complete and signatures you need to get. They don’t make it easy! As long as you meet all of your deadlines though, you should be on your way to becoming a post secondary student!
Erin Fischer wrote this article. She is a student at Cuyahoga Community College. She is 17 years old.