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Journal Writing Project: Fall memories


By Abigail Hanson

Fri, Jan 24th, 2014
Posted in All Journal Student Writing Project

As a high school junior, I spent a great deal of time thinking about college and the future. I knew college was expensive and wanted to get ahead of the game. I enrolled in an “Online in the High School” college level Introduction to Sociology course to start my college career.

When it started, I was nervous about the new step up in education. After the first couple of weeks, I calmed down and got the hang of it. We spend the semester reading a chapter a week and having a quiz. Then, near the end of the course, we had a community service project assignment. We volunteered and then wrote a pager about our experience. Once finished with the course, I knew that I made the right choice in taking it. I had completed my first college course that was paid for by the high school and was able to get a feel of what college was like.

I then spent the summer before my senior year thinking more about college and all of the changes that were to come after graduation. I did research and decided to take PSEO, or Post-Secondary Enrollment Option, my senior year. PSEO can be taken in the classroom at the college, partially in the classroom and partially online, or completely online. I chose to take online courses through South Central College in Mankato, Minn. I enrolled in two courses and again was nervous.

My Computer Software for College course was about learning Microsoft programs. I knew how to use most of these, so I wasn’t as nervous as I was about my Employment Search Skills course.

August rolled around, and I began my two PSEO classes. They both started off well and I did well. I again slowly got the hang of college-level courses. I went back and forth, copying word documents in one class to writing a resume in the other. By mid-October, they were both getting a bit more challenging. I started using the Excel and Access programs in Microsoft that I wasn’t used to, and I was writing a cover letter and putting together both a paper and an electronic portfolio. As I got used to the new programs in Microsoft, I used any extra time to work on my portfolios. I had never made one, let alone two, and was nervous that I’d mess something up or forget to add something.

When my Computer Software for College course was coming to an end, I was feeling good about it again. I figured out how to do everything, and my final exam came down to using the program to demonstrate that I had learned how to use the software. I was confident I’d do just fine.

The final exam for my Employment Search Skills, however, was to finally turn in my paper and electronic portfolios. I felt confident about my electronic portfolio, but was worried about sending in the paper portfolio. When I got my final grades for both courses, I was relieved that I had done just fine in both! I was worried that the big step from high school classes to college classes would hurt my grades, but I feel that it really helped me in getting ready for college.

Now I am enrolled in another PSEO class, and when I graduate, I will have four college credited courses under my belt, plus the experience from them all. Through all of these courses, I was able to save hundreds of dollars on my college tuition because they were paid for by the school. I know that I made the right decision by taking college courses during high school, and I hope that all high school students consider the opportunity to help save time and money.

Abigail Hanson is a student at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of 8 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its fifteenth year.

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