High Schoolers in College Classes


The football games, the school colors, and the catchy fight-songs are basically all I knew about the University of Michigan before I entered high school. I never comprehended what an amazing school it is, and how lucky I am to live five minutes away from it. I never even knew that as a high schooler I had the opportunity to enroll in classes there, or any college nearby, for free. This is something I believe all high schoolers should partake in.

I began high school, and college seemed like a lifetime away. But, it crept up on me. As I finished my junior year of high school, the thought of college scared me. I would think to myself, “Am I prepared? Am I ready for this change in my life?” I grew fearful: fearful of the changes to come and fearful of the workload in my horizon. Although I do believe my high school did a superb job of preparing me for this new step in my life, I felt like I needed more. I needed to see what was really coming my way. Which is the reason why I, and many other high schoolers, enrolled in a college class.

I found my love for human biology during my Foundations of Science III (FOS) class during my junior year. During our final unit, we learned about the immune system and I immediately fell in love with it. I had never been so interested in and excited about learning something. With college applications on my mind, I thought about taking a course at the University of Michigan so I could truly understand what college was like. So, after hard research, I found the perfect class for me: Biology of Nutrition (105) at the University of Michigan.

As a high schooler, I really did not know how to enroll in this class. I believe that the steps I took should be more open to all students, whether they’re interested in taking a college class or not, because everyone should have this opportunity. I first found a class that interested me and then emailed back and forth with the professor of the class to make sure she was okay with having me. I told her that I would be receiving high school credit for sitting in on the class, about the CR department, and a little bit about myself. After a few emails, she agreed. I then filled out a CR form and purchased all of the materials I needed for the class: an IClicker, which allows students to answer multiple choice questions in a large lecture, and a textbook. Although this process was fairly simple, it takes time. If you’re thinking about taking a college class, make sure you know when your deadline is, and start preparing for it months in advance.

Zane Jones, a high schooler at Community High School, is currently taking the Biology of Nutrition course with me.

“I decided to take this class [because] I’ve always been interested in nutrition and [Community doesn’t] really offer anything like that,” Jones said. “I get to pursue my interest in a structured way.”  Although he really enjoys this class, it does come with more work and more stress.

Teenagers are more stressed now than ever, according to Psychology Today. Not only can relationships, social media, and families be stress factors, but school is a major stress factor as well. And as students grow with more and more stress involved, college might only make it worse.

“I think that the content is not crazy complicated, but the workload is definitely heavier. There’s a lot more stuff to do,” Jones said. “I think I probably am more stressed about this class.”

I too have felt that this class has increased my stress levels a lot. But is it worth it? Absolutely. Not only have I learned more about a subject that I am passionate about, but I have come to the realization that biology is what I want to pursue when I am older. Although I probably won’t get the best grade in the class, I am okay with it, because I am learning about something that I am passionate about.

The University of Michigan is no longer just in the background of my life. It has introduced me to my passion and proven to me that I am ready for college.