How I started a college education as high school student

The transition from high school to college is quite something. You already have your high school diploma in your pocket and starting a new study requires a lot of you. Many high school students hesitate to continue their studies and start a higher professional education program because they are afraid that they will not make it. I took the plunge and started part-time with the four-year higher professional education course in Social Work. In this blog I share my experience with starting a college education.

The selection process: options after high school
After my high school education, I really wanted to develop further and orientated myself towards a higher professional education programme. There were several options: multiple college courses that matched my high school course and I could choose to study full-time or part-time. To gain more insight into what exactly I wanted, I made a list of pros and cons.

Here’s a look at my list:

In front of:

  • Gain more knowledge
  • Meet other professionals
  • Learn more about my field of work
  • Earn more after high school
  • Can grow in my personality
  • Internships in different places and thus gain more knowledge about different target groups



Against:

  • It costs money, no free public transport (as a part-timer)
  • Every week to school (part-time Monday only)
  • It takes time
  • Part time: Outside of work, have to do things for school
  • Full-time: Outside internship and school to find a side job to make ends meet

Studying alongside my job
In the end I opted for a part-time Social Work degree. This is another sport, because I go to school next to my regular job. Because my permanent job is a very nice place to work, I didn’t want to quit. I feel good there and I want to grow in it. My employer gave me that opportunity and that motivates me enormously. This way I can continue to grow and develop in my work.

Now a college student
I am now in the third year of my education. The big difference between high school and college is that you learn in a completely different way. I found this very difficult in the beginning, but the teachers and my coach helped me a lot. For example, she taught me to structure and plan well. The advantage of my vocational education is that I have already gained a lot of practical experience.

In retrospect, I am very happy that I chose a part-time higher professional education programme; I have grown a lot in my career. You have to be a real go-getter and not just give up. I would like to say to anyone who is hesitating to continue studying: just do it! Give it a chance!

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