Makayla Martellaro
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Concurrent Enrollment

What is it? How is my experience with it?

"Concurrent enrollment" is a term I had never even heard until the end of my sophomore year in high school. It is when a high school student can take college classes and the district will also pay the tuition, in most cases. I immediately was gravitated towards it. Though still keeping in mind that I would be missing the "high school experience," I knew that a free college education was a privilege and a means to help pay for something I was stressing about paying for myself well before I got to it. My high school years had been a drab so far and I thought it would be a nice escape from the drama of high school. This is one of my best decisions I had made for myself in my life.

A Great Program

This program is offered at most high schools in my town; there is even a charter school that requires concurrent enrollment. There are part-time and full-time options offered at my particular school. In the beginning, I had only wanted to do part-time and maybe take a Friday class since my town only has a four-day school week. I quickly changed my mind after certain drama-filled events went down at school—like not being friends with my best friend anymore and some other dumb high school drama. And so I changed to the track of full-time early college.

The application process for me was a bit tricky, as my counselor and I had not had the best communication throughout the whole ordeal, which caused some snags and riffs in the normally smooth process. The actual application was about 10 pages long—kind of like a college application, except this one got submitted to my district's administrators. Why do you want to do this? What has gotten you ready for this change? What do you plan on studying? I answered all those basic questions that nobody ever really gets excited about answering.

Picking My Classes

This part is where I felt like maybe I wasn't ready for it, but soon I figured out I was ready and this would be great for me. I when into the college advisor's office thinking it would be just like high school: I say what I want to do and they will find the best classes for me. I WAS WRONG. I laugh at this now, but I probably looked extra clueless when they brought up all seven different sciences that I could take. At the time, I had an area I had wanted to study, but not a refined path and destination in mind. They set me up on the path to my associates of Science. That was the start of great things for me in my academic career. After an hour of him helping me choose each of the classes, I had made it through. I was officially enrolled and set up for my first semester at full-time early college.

First Day of Class

This was probably the most stressed I had been in years. I was worried everyone would be able to tell I was an awkward high school kid trying to play in the big leagues with the college kids. I had no friends or anyone who I had known in the school. I had only been on campus a few times before and I was worried about how my day was going to play out. While my day was not the best first day, it was also not a complete disaster either. I knew I could at least make it through the fall semester here. That was my goal to pass the first semester and then decide to stay or return to taking classes at the high school. *Spoiler* I stayed and will graduate high school with an associates degree.

Finals

This was most likely more stressful than the first day of class I needed to pass these finals. You see all the finals week stuff with strung out people pulling all-nighters and drinking their body weight in coffee and energy drinks. I am a big fan of sleep and I will never pull an all-nighter. No one wants to see me after I don't get enough sleep. I am also not a big studier, which is not a good thing in college. I tried to study, but cramming was not doing much for me and I decided whatever happens happens. The two-day final stretch came up a lot sooner than I was expecting and I worried my final grade would not accurately portray all the hard work I put in during the semester. When it was all over, I felt bittersweet about all that I put into the semester. I thought about staying or leaving, and I decided to stay. I couldn't be happier with my decision. The stress was worth it and I hope that more people will look into concurrent enrollment and early college.

This is my first jab at writing and I hope this post will bring light to an amazing program.