ECG student talks about transition in college


I began my time as an Early College student in the ninth grade at 14-years-old in the white buildings with the green tops near the Frank Family Science Center. I spent two years in those buildings, taking many honors and Advanced Placement classes. Even with these classes and others telling me what the next step would be like, I still did not know what to expect.

Going into my junior year, I knew it would be very different. Having only four classes a semester was very strange, but I think the schedule was the biggest change for me. I went from going to four classes a day from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. to a varying schedule. Some days I only had one class, while others I had three classes back-to-back. But the strangest piece is all the free time that I have. I realize that I would not be able to go back to a normal schedule, sitting in a classroom for six to seven hours a day.

Another piece that greatly differs from a traditional high school are the breaks. Fall break was new to me at this school, since that is really only a college thing that isn’t at traditional high schools. I also love the long winter break. I never had a J-Term since I began classes in fall 2017, but even without it we had a much longer winter break than what I was accustomed to. Spring break was very early in the year for sure, but the biggest change is getting out of school so early. Traditional high schools get out mid-June, and the early college underclassmen get out at the end of May, but my last exam is April 30, so I have nearly four months of summer break. I still have not processed this time, but I cannot say I hate it at all.

As for the actual classes, there are of course major differences. I have to put in a lot more work in order to fully understand material and be successful, which my AP classes definitely helped me with. I am glad to say that I have not had a professor that has treated me differently from traditional students at the college. All have been respectful and treat me the same as any other student. I do appreciate my professors because they understand the different conditions for a younger student, especially being unable to drive to class due to weather conditions on multiple occasions.

Overall, it has been different, yet enjoyable, spending three years on a college campus, one of which was in college classes. I have definitely enjoyed this amazing opportunity to take these classes for free and immerse myself in the college environment. Although we are banned from the dorms, I have gotten a good understanding of the academic side of college. Now, when I move on to the school where I will further my education, I will be able to thank Guilford for the love and acceptance of me and my Early College peers.