Most people would agree that high school and college are pretty different. But what about high school students in college classes? Mesh the two worlds and you have the early college experience.

Weber State students wait for their classes to begin. Unlike high school, in college you have the time and permission to use electronics between classes. (Photo by Kaitlyn Johnson)

Starting fall semester as a high school junior, I have to admit I was pretty excited for all my Weber State University classes. Walking into my first college class, microbiology, I immediately noticed a few things.

Nearly half the class was made up of NUAMES (Northern Utah Academy for Math, Engineering and Science) students. Which honestly makes sense, especially on the Davis campus.

Before I signed up for my microbiology class, I’d coordinated with a few buddies to make sure we enrolled in the same one, so I wasn’t worried about not knowing anyone. What really scared me was my Tuesday and Thursday class on the Ogden campus.

For most NUAMES juniors, the counselors had recommended regular high school English or AP English. However, I was fed up with AP classes from my sophomore year and didn’t want to settle for the standard high school class.

Lucky for me, the counselors looked at my ACT score and gave me the thumbs up to take it at Weber. Even better, I was allowed to skip English 1010 too.

I didn’t expect to recognize anyone in my class, let alone share it with three other early college students. One of them was from my school, I’d just never thought to ask which English class he was taking. The other two were from local high schools that don’t specialize in the early college program the way NUAMES does.

One thing that surprised me was that most of my college teachers still took roll – I’d always heard that college classes were filled with hundreds of  students so the professors didn’t bother. The second part was also untrue – none of my classes had more than 50 students.

The freedom of college was refreshing. From the first day of preschool, I’ve been nagged about doing my homework, and showing up to class on time. Now my teachers simply stated that the assignment was posted on Canvas and left it at that.

Between classes, I can do whatever I want. Granted, I usually just pull out my laptop and try to catch up on homework, but it’s just so different from high school. Instead of having only a few minutes between classes to rush from one place to another, I have an hour or two. Perfect for finishing homework for the next class.

Overall, I think I’ll like my college classes. I’m scared about grading, because almost everything rides on tests and quizzes, but I still think it will continue to be a nice break from high school.



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