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What it was Like Being in High-School and College at the Same Time

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 SBU chapter.

My senior year of high school I was allotted entrance into a special college program called the “Health-Careers Academy”, which granted me the opportunity to spend half of my day in my high school, and the other half at Genesee Community College. I got to live two lives at once, a high schooler, and a college gal. It was an incredibly unique and influential experience that I feel lucky to have had, and there is so much from every angle that I would like to share!

Program overview

This particular program was a 15 credit program that included 5 college courses, as well as a minimum of 5 hours of clinical experience each week.

In the fall, I took three courses: Medical Terminology, Career and Educational Planning, and General Psychology.

In the spring, I took the other two courses: Responding to Emergencies, and BIO 104

My clinical hours were completed at numerous locations including United Medical Memorial Center (our local hospital), The New York State School for the Blind, numerous high schools and elementary schools, and private medical offices.

Positives

This experience had an incredible amount of positives! Here are what I thought to be the biggest ones:

  • College preparation —> Getting to go to the college and do my classes, have the independence to do whatever, and even do little things like go to the Starbucks with my friends after class really helped me get a feel for what college life was going to be like. I can say as a college student currently, getting an early start helped me so much when adjusting to independent life here.
  • Credits! —> Who doesn’t love getting out of other classes!? Bringing in these credits has already proven to help me out in getting out of courses, even if they are just electives. Mixed with my AP credits, I came into my first year as a freshman here with 30 credits!
  • Clinical Experiences —> My favorite parts of my week were always the moments I got to spend in Clinical. I got so many amazing experiences, including witnessing surgeries in the operating room and actually assisting in medical care in numerous ways. It helped me confirm exactly what I want to do in the boundless world of medicine, and introduced me to people that I will never forget.
  • SO many unique experiences —> Aside from clinical experiences, I got to experience so many other cool things through the many field trips my main professor would take us on. I got to tour labs and hospitals, got to work as a doctor in the teddy bear clinic for kindergarteners and their “injured” stuffed animals, and got to go on fun outings doing things like kayaking and getting dinner together as a program. I got to have so much fun while learning at the same time!
  • Friendships —> Through this program I was able to make friendships that will last me hopefully a life time. I got incredibly close to many girls in the program, and we still talk to this day. It was super nice being able to be around people that weren’t my usual high school crowd. There were 10 kids in my program, so we got close quick, and it truly was like a family.
  • TBH I just felt really cool —> Not to be full of myself, but the program did make me feel really cool. I was doing cool things that were rare to experience at my age, got the privilege of saying that I was going through the difficult process of being a high schooler and a college student, and honestly just felt super proud and accomplished with myself! This feeling still holds when I look back on it and say “Yeah, I did that!”

Negatives

As with everything in this world, this experience did have its negatives, but to me very few, and absolutely none that made the program seem not worth it.

  • Transportation —> Just my luck, my school was the only school in the vicinity that did not allow student drivers to transport themselves to programs, whether it be BOCES or programs like mine. Unfortunately, this meant I had to ride the BOCES bus and endure some of the most chaotic, loud, smelly bus rides of my life. Some notable horrible moments were when we got gassed by someone blowing up an axe can with a knife while en route, or when we had to listen to people get into serious altercations over seats. I can still smell the diesel, sweat, and vape.
  • Workload —> Although I pulled through, I can say it was not always easy. Being a high school student in the busiest year of her life (senior year), while also working every day and trying to stay sane on top of the workload of my college courses and the requirements I had to meet, sometimes got incredibly stressful. There were days I had a senior exclusive event, a shift at work, and a fifteen page research paper to do all within the same hours of the day. It was difficult, but well worth it in the end. I am glad I made it through the days I thought I seriously would not.

Overall:

In the end, this program was absolutely incredible and I would not trade the experience for anything. Even though sometimes my year could have been significantly easier, I am glad I never quit. I have convinced multiple people to join in on this experience, and will forever remember it!

Huge shoutout to the awesome barista at the GCC Starbucks who would always make my drink in an alternative but identically tasting way when they didn’t have it, you are such a real one. I owe my Health Careers Academy diploma to you.

Audney Burnside is a new writer for the St. Bonaventure Her Campus chapter. She publishes articles weekly, spanning the topics of music, lifestyle and popular culture. She hopes to further the amazing creativity that her chapter of Her Campus has to share with the world. Audney is currently a freshman at St. Bonaventure University, studying Public Health in the 3+2 Occupational Therapy Master's program. A new college student, as well as a new member of Her Campus, Audney brings her history of involvement in many programs at her high school, Le Roy Jr/Sr High School. She was the project manager of her chapter of the National Honor society, had the opportunity to write a couple of pieces for the local paper, served her community habitually as a member of her towns Rotary InterACT, and led a team in Scholastic Bowl. As well as Her Campus, Audney is a member of SBU’s honors program, SBU for Equality, and Bona Buddies. Apart from academics, Audney’s life revolves around the music she loves, outdoorsy adventures, and her best friends. Audney is a devoted cat mom and enthusiastic nature explorer, who loves kayaking with her family, takes way too much pride in her recent Taylor Swift concert attendance, and will bring up The Catcher in the Rye at any moment possible.