Pick your stress: College or High School


Madison Crumpton

A typical college classroom, photo taken at Greenville Technical College (Photo courtesy of Madison Crumpton).

College and high school can both be very stressful atmospheres for students, and Brashier students get to experience both at the same time. Dual enrollment courses during high school are extremely beneficial and important for every enrolled student’s future, but is the workload and pressure of both high school and college worth it?

“My college classes are so much easier…I always had weekly homework assignments so I knew when it was due…they were fairly easy,” said junior Connor McAbee. Collectively, students agreed that their college classes were simple in structure and straightforward. Difficult or easy, students understand the work that their course requires and how the class functions.         

When asked about her high school career, Junior Abby McDonald said, “I have taken Chemistry, Geometry, Art, and English. I say it would depend on the class as to whether it is harder than a college class.”  Both students questioned said that it depended on the class as to how the high school course compared to their college course. Although, they both agreed overall that high school demanded more of them in terms of time and workload. This workload could possibly be teachers trying to prepare young minds for the harder work college requires.

“Right now, I would say my highschool grades [matter more]…but senior year I will be taking more [dual enrollment classes] so I would say college classes then,” said McAbee. Connor McAbee picks which matters more based on which classes he’s taking more of, college or highschool. On the other hand, there are students like Abby McDonald, who said, “I think they both matter as much as the other because they are both going to transfer to a college… and they both go towards your GPA, so I would say that they both are important.” McAbee and McDonald have different views on the importance of both educations, but both are left having to decide which will be the more time-consuming priority. 

Brashier guidance counselor Glenn Wile told The Bengal Beat, “It really is a two step process because your success in highschool is what gets you into college and into the college that you want… I never made that connection as a kid, but now, as a highschool counselor and a parent who has been through this a few times with other kids, I realize that they really go hand in hand. It is like step A and step B. A is what gets you to B, and B gets you further.” Based on the interviewee’s responses, it can be assumed that both highschool and college grades matter to parents, educators, and students.    

“Even though some high schools have [Advanced Placement (AP) classes] not every highschool offers college. So colleges are going to look at that, as ‘okay you have taken a college class before, so how are you going to do at our university?’,” said McDonald. McDonald makes a very good point. Wile added to this point by saying, “colleges are not always worried about the grade, but about a student’s drive.”

“Stress. Kids pushing themselves beyond what they can do. ….Knowing limitations and what can I do realistically, and what can I not do. And being okay with that,” said Wile. College can be very stressful, and trying to graduate high school at the same time can make it that much more difficult. When asked what problems that dual enrollment frequently causes, Wile stated that stress is a problem. He alluded to the fact that students over-exerting themselves causes this stress. 

“[Issues with classes are] mostly just scheduling problems… but nothing as far as work,” added McDonald. Both Abby and Connor agreed that scheduling seemed to be the only problem for them. Of course, that does not mean that scheduling is the only problem for every dual enrolled student. 

“It is nice to see what it is like [to be in college], and the classes are a lot of fun,” said McAbee. Aside from any stress or scheduling problems, many students enjoy the atmosphere of college compared to our highschool. Many dual enrolled students at Brashier see early college as an advantage and an opportunity to experience what it is like to be a college student before graduating high school. 

“I think it kind of gets your feet wet, that way you are not all of a sudden thrown into a world of professors and no academic assistance and no retesting. It kind of gives you a transition experience to have during highschool,” said McDonald. All interviewees agreed that early college is a wonderful experience, to both prepare you and shape you for your present and future academic career.    

Taking the current topic of high school and college courses into consideration, Wile added, “I hope [this article] will allow kids to look at the pros and cons of [dual enrollment courses]… [You’ve] got to look at yourself and really know if this is something [that you are ready for], because if you are [going to] …do it you want to be successful with it.