6 Important Pros & Cons Of Washington State's Running Start Program

6 Important Pros & Cons Of Washington State's Running Start Program

Running Start is a great program, but also has a few disadvantages.

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Washington's Running Start program allows for high school juniors and seniors to step into the college classroom sooner, gaining credits and building connections before they even get a high school diploma. This program offers students the chance to obtain an Associates degree and in my case, over 60 credits that transferred to my college. However, with all of the great benefits that I got from Running Start, there were also a few misconceptions that would have impact my decision back in 11th grade.

Pro: You actually make more friends.

A huge misconception with the Running Start program is that you'll lose a lot of friends at your high school. From my experience, this may be true, but you are given the possibility to interact with students from other schools that you might not have ever known. If anything, this program allowed me to make more friends than I ever would've without it.

Con: You spend a lot less time with people your age.

Although many of my classes did have high schoolers in them, there were a lot of times that I had to interact with adults going back to school or recent high school grads. While it was cool to interact with these people, it was also a little strange at times to be in that situation.

Pro: You get a degree.

The main purpose of the Running Start program is to allow students to obtain a diploma and a degree at the same time. Being able to walk out of high school with an associates degree in your hand is a really great feeling.

Con: Not all of your credits will actually transfer (probably).

The worst part about Running Start is thinking that all of your credits that you worked so hard to earn will transfer. Unfortunately, the truth is, most likely not everything will perfectly transfer unless you have a direct transfer agreement or you get really lucky. Regardless, you probably still will get a lot of college credit out of the program.

Pro: You have a lot more free time.

At the school I went to, I only took three classes a day and a lot of times, we had opportunities to take classes online. I was able to work my schedule so that I latest I had class was 11 am. Having this chance gave me so much time to practice self-care, do things that made me happy, and go to the gym.

Con: You have a lot more freedom.

In college, your teachers or professors really don't care that much if you show up or not, some might not even take attendance. This fact means that there is a lot more opportunity to skip class which can really hurt your grades. Running Start gives students a lot of freedom that if abused can turn into a really bad thing.

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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A Letter To My Roommates

"Some people arrive and make such a beautiful impact on your life, you can barely remember what life was like without them" -Anna Taylor

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Dear Steph and Emma,

It feels so strange to be writing this right now, as I'm sitting literally 5 feet from both of you and you have no idea I'm doing this.

I knew I was going to miss you guys over winter break, but now that we're back in our routine I remember just how good it feels to spend time together, not just communicating over text.

I always tell you that I think you're the best and I love you, but I thought you deserved another expression of my appreciation because, truly, I don't know how I would have gotten this far in college without you guys.

You were my first friends in college, and I genuinely consider both of you some of my best friends; not just in college, but in life. I was so nervous that we wouldn't bond right away and would simply coexist without being friends, or that the confines of a small converted triple would turn us against each other. I was so wrong. We clicked almost immediately and ever since move-in, we've done everything together. I never knew other people would notice until we were called the "trio," and even intimidating once (which I still don't think is true) because we travel as a pack.

Sometimes I think about what my life would look like if we never met in the Facebook group over the summer, or even if I chose to attend a different college, and I can't even imagine it. Very few people get lucky enough to have great freshman roommates, and I feel like I won the lottery. People reassured me before starting school that it would be okay if I didn't become best friends with my roommates. I know that things would have turned out fine if we weren't this close, but living with some of your favorite people definitely makes your school experience that much better. I can't relate to my friends' roommate horror stories because I haven't ever experienced anything like that since moving in.

I couldn't imagine eating dinner, roaming around campus, decorating, laying on the floor, or getting into random shenanigans with anyone else. Whenever I go through my phone's camera roll I have so many memories of our good times (I did this so many times over break, you don't even know). I know you are always there for me, whether I need to rant, am stressed with work and need a distraction, or I'm just bored and need someone to talk to about nothing. You are both such genuine, kind, amazing people and I don't think you hear it enough.

I don't have any biological sisters, but after move-in, I feel like I have sisters now. So thank you for being the honorary sisters I never knew I needed.

Love you guys! Can't wait to spend the rest of the semester with you!

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