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Life > Academics

My Education Journey: The Experience of a 17-Year-Old College Student

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Growing up in a low-income family, I never imagined I would go to college, let alone go to college a year early. I was in eighth grade when the pandemic happened. I had no ambitions for my future, no career passions like my classmates. I did not know what I wanted to do after I graduated high school. We had little money and few opportunities to go to college, so I never expected that my high school would change my future for the better. 

My education journey is quite unique from those that I went to school with. Never did we imagine that in the middle of our eighth-grade year, we would not be going back. We all thought it was a two-week vacation! Little did we know that the COVID-19 pandemic affected all of our education at the time. Learning math and science through Zoom calls was no easy task. My peers and I struggled with keeping our grades up without in-person classes, and this was a very hard time academically. But, if the quarantine never had happened, I would not have graduated a year early. Despite the challenges we faced during quarantine, we succeeded and are making history. 

My college education started in my freshman year of high school in 2020. My school offered free dual enrollment classes with our community college. I only decided to take the dual enrollment classes because I got three times the credits in half the time span. I was thinking “Hey why not!? It’s less time!”, not realizing it would change my future forever. At first, I pursued a major in psychology because I wanted to be a therapist and help others. It was not until the end of the fall semester of 2020 that my high school told my parents I would be graduating early. I was no longer just a freshman.

My parents and friends were beyond proud of my achievements and how far I had come. I mean, I had only taken two dual enrollment classes that semester. I never thought I would ever be a soon-to-be college graduate at seventeen years old! How crazy does that sound? Now, I am not Albert Einstein. I got As and Bs in high school, and occasionally Cs. My GPA was an average of 3.7. I have constantly been called smart and mature for my achievements, and my friend’s parents loved me because of my academics. But, dual enrollment had its cons. 

When I first started taking the dual enrollment classes, they were on Zoom calls. I started to forget to join the meetings and got stressed out from the assignments. It was a lot of stress and work for a fourteen-year-old girl. I would not have continued my dual enrollment classes if it were not for one of my college English professors who always kept encouraging me and cared about my education. I went from taking only two college classes to having taken over twenty. The academic stress never goes away, but I have improved my time management skills and have made self-care a vital part of my daily routine. It is important to find a balance in your academics and personal life. 

I do not regret my choice to take dual enrollment classes. I love the adventures and freedom I have on the GCU campus. I am studying for a bachelor’s degree in justice studies, and I will be graduating in the Fall of 2024 when I am 18. I am proud to be a first-generation college student, and I cannot wait for the next stop in my journey: law school!

I am seventeen years old and I am a Junior at Grand Canyon University. I am a Justice Studies major with a minor in pre-law. I am a first generation college student and I will be graduating with my bachelor's degree in the Fall of 2024 and then heading off to Law school! My career goal is to be an immigration lawyer (I will always be a writer at heart). Some Fun facts about me are: My zodiac sign is an Aries (Selena is my birthday twin). I cannot get enough of my Great Dane, Slasher (He was adopted on Friday the 13th). I am obsessed with Halloween and all things spooky (horror movies have my heart). I enjoy tons of music genres like rock, metal, R&B, and rock en español. I am a second generation latina (unfortunately a no sabo kid). I love capturing nature and sunsets through photography. I also love editing pictures to put my own twist on photography ideas that have been done time and time again. Working out is also a huge thing for me, I love it with my whole heart.