Get Ready to Run

Sara Williams and Zachary Otero

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Upperclassmen have the opportunity to get a college education while still enrolled in high school. Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) has a program called Running Start that lets students get ahead of the game, while still graduating on time with their high school class.

“I have learned so much,” said Shannon Corgan, a CHS senior, “And I mentally feel smarter and more motivated to do out of school work.”

Corgan enrolled along with twenty-six other students from CHS and ones from other local high schools, including Mackenzie Meni and Emily Larner. Each one talked about how different it was from just an average day at high school. It’s more of a rush to keep up with everything going on, however.

“You have to know your syllabus,” said Meni, who is also a current senior, “If you don’t, you’re over with.”

Another major con is staying on track with all the clubs here at “the high school of champions.” The girls say in order to know when there is a meeting, they have to read the website daily to see the announcements.

“Be prepared to spend money on gas,” Meni exclaimed.

While it may be a hassle to keep up with extracurriculars at CHS, that doesn’t mean that SWIC doesn’t offer any. Larner, a junior and the youngest of the three students, talked about the different clubs she is a part of at the local college. She is part of a college honor society labeled Phi Pheta Kappa, on top of that commitment, Larner is still involved at CHS.

Other than clubs, SWIC has a variety of resources, such as the Success Center located in the library and the online writing lab. Yet, they still had a lot of information to bring with them from high school. Meni talked about how her AP classes, including Ms. Tesdall’s precalculus class, really prepared her for the hecticness of college.

Do they recommend it for everybody?

“Don’t do it if you’re super involved.” said Corgan.

“You just have to find the balance of it,” stated Larner, “trying to do everything at college and high school. You just need to find the balance. You have to commit, you can’t just do half college and half high school.”

The Running Start program has proven to be beneficial but also a commitment that not everyone is prepared to make. Before considering the Running Start program, sort your priorities out before making a final decision.

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