After submitting my application for High Point University, I received an email encouraging me to apply for the honors college because my academic credentials met the requirements. With no expectations in mind, I decided to apply and was happily surprised when I received the acceptance letter from the program. Everyone wants to feel desired, and it felt gratifying to know that High Point University wanted me not only as a student, but as an honors student.
After pondering my invitation to join the honors college, I hesitantly accepted. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with the rigors of the program because I had to work my butt off to be successful in my high school honors classes, but I knew I wanted a challenge. I wanted something that would connect me with other students who wanted to learn as much as I did and enriching class discussions that would encourage me to think critically. However, I was coming in blind because the honors program had been completely redesigned for my freshmen class; none of us were sure what we were getting ourselves into.
The set-up of the honors college at High Point University includes all one hundred honors freshmen living in the same dorm in the middle of campus and an honors core curriculum that is totally unique to the program. Whereas the regular student’s core curriculum is between 50-53 credits, the honors core curriculum is 39 because it consists of interdisciplinary classes where they combine multiple disciplines (subjects) into one class. For example, the interdisciplinary class I took my first semester called “Beautiful and Good” combined the studies of art, literature, and philosophy to criticize art by evaluating its goodness and beauty.
In spite of my concerns about the workload of the honors college, I have found the program to be pleasantly rewarding. Living with the other freshman honors students has helped me make friends, and there’s always someone to study with if you don’t want to study alone. Our specific honors colloquium, which is equivalent to a freshman’s first-year seminar, has been beneficial by helping us adapt to the program and offering us opportunities for research and grants. The director of the honors programs makes sure his students not only work hard but make time for fun; he took us to play laser tag in the middle of the semester and kicked our butts.
The honors program also has a social organization club that I have enjoyed being a part of. Not only has it been a great way to meet upperclassmen from the old honors program, it has also helped me work towards a healthy balance between social affairs and academics. We took a trip to Washington, D.C. in October and were able to go to the zoo, museums, and Georgetown. I also just gained the title, along with my suitemate, of gingerbread-house-making winner, which will never help me in life, but it was a fun way to take a break from studying.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that the honors program is all sunshine and rainbows because believe me, it’s a lot of work. I find myself strategizing how I will complete all my work by its deadlines and stressing over difficult assignments, but I said I wanted a challenge. I find myself using critical thinking more and more every day and know that developing these skills will help me in my career.
I’ve never had any academic endeavors come easy to me and I’ve never had a natural academic ability; I’ve always needed to put in effort and study considerably to produce quality work and make good grades. Sometimes I feel inadequate when I compare myself to my fellow honors counterparts, such as those with prestigious majors such as biology or chemistry. After I remind myself that we are all in the honors program because we want to take advantage of the opportunity to receive a more intensive education, I am reassured that I made the right choice in joining the honors college.