College courses isolate students

PSEO not worth the trouble

Maren Wilsey

Juniors and seniors are given the option to do PSEO (Postsecondary Enrollment Options) classes at local colleges, and while academically this can be beneficial, the social disadvantages override the advantages. This year I opted to do PSEO part-time and the rest of my classes at the high school. While the majority of the experience was positive, I struggled with several aspects of it. 

It was difficult to take classes when you barely know your professor, and due to how little time there is to build a relationship, there was no way to improve that situation. My classes were online as well, so I had no opportunity to get to know my classmates either. The combination of the two can have a very negative impact on both a student’s educational experience as well as their mental health.

Whatever sense of isolation that is felt through part-time PSEO, full-time must be twice as bad. High school is arguably one of the most defining and important times in a person’s life. For better or worse, it’s a time when much is decided, as well as an experience that will shape who you become later on. However, if a student doesn’t attend school, it is impossible to get this said experience. The sudden transition from a collaborative high school surrounded by friends and peers, to a much more independently functioning college with people several years older at the minimum, can be very jarring. Of course, it’s still possible to make friends and build new relationships, but the adjustment takes a toll. For those who don’t have much free time, this can lead to seeing some high school friends much less as well. The impact of this goes without saying — It’s very hard to be away from friends in this way.

If a student chooses to do part-time classes that are in person, this can lead to additional difficulties. Driving back and forth between schools takes time and resources that may not be available to everyone. Every student is different, so what works for one may not work for another, however certain things — like PSEO — have too many disadvantages to work for anyone.