As an underclassman, I had always heard about the PSEO (Postsecondary Enrollment Options) experience, but I could finally try it out for myself at the start of my junior year. While at first I was overwhelmed with the possibility of taking a college-level course, after taking a leap of faith, I soon realized the benefits that it provided.
What initially drew me towards PSEO was the chance to not only gain high school credit but also to begin my college transcripts in the process. Because the state of Minnesota pays for all PSEO expenses, I was essentially starting my college education for free, something I don’t think anyone would pass up. After I graduate high school, some of those credits should transfer to any future university. As someone who has always been involved in AP classes, where passing the AP test is the requirement for credit, PSEO seemed like a much better option.
Another reason PSEO was beneficial was the increased flexibility in my high school schedule. When you take a college class, half of those credits are counted towards high school credits. When I took college writing, those four credits counted as two, which for me was a full year of English in just one semester.
Because of this, I was allotted open hours during the day to work on PSEO, which allowed me to not only catch up on work, but gave me a mental break. Instead of going to seven periods all day, I would have a few open hours in the morning, which I used to get caught up. As someone involved in a lot of extracurriculars, this was a lifesaver.
Not only did PSEO give me extra time, but it also taught me a plethora of skills that I’ll continue to use. While I suddenly had much more freedom, that came with the responsibility of staying on top of my assignments without constant reminders. In the fall semester, I took one course through Normandale in a hybrid model, going into class on Mondays and having every other day asynchronous. Balancing this with four high school classes and other activities taught me the importance of time management and organization.
For the first time, I bought myself a planner and began to track what assignments I had and when they were due. With this, I felt more prepared, and I felt my stress level decrease as I knew what to expect. I learned what organization strategies worked best for me and I found that I was much more productive. All of these are skills that I’ll bring with me in future endeavors.
Although I only participated in part-time PSEO and not full-time, the experience was a perfect balance for me. I was still able to see my friends and have a “normal” high school experience, while also preparing myself for my future. I’ve never regretted my decision to take PSEO classes and would highly recommend them for anyone interested.