This blog is for all of the homeschool students out there. I’ve chosen to speak directly to you because I once was you. My name is Abbie and I was a homeschool student from grade school until I enrolled at Milligan.
Our route is different from other high school students, and you may have some different questions, needs, and perspectives because of it. While many students have to adjust to being self-motivated, we have been cultivating those skills for years. However, while most students have sat in a classroom and been surrounded by their peers for the majority of their life, we have often not been in that setting.
Here are some things I realized through my adjustment and over the years as a college student:
- You’re only weird if you think you are. Even though there will be plenty of social settings that haven’t been your norm, influence is born through confidence. Come in knowing the strengths God has gifted to you and make an impact. Everyone will be a little out of their element. You are gifted and capable of reaching out to others to make them feel welcome and comfortable even if it takes you being uncomfortable to do so. Come in ready to serve by the power of the identity you’ve been given.
- Your homeschooler identity does not have to be your route to fame. You are cool for more than your upbringing. Encourage people to be interested in who you are more than how you were raised.
- While there are so many differences in the way people homeschool, more than likely the academic transition will be easier than the social transition. Everyone is adjusting and growing in every which way. The most powerful gift you can give someone is the freedom to grow. Be sure to give yourself the same gift.
- Dual enrollment is a gem! I dual enrolled at Milligan as well as a community college. Milligan not only provided me a perfect setting to dual enroll, but they also accepted all my credits from other schools. If dual enrollment is an option, go for it! It is a wonderful way to have a soft entrance to the college scene and get a top-notch education while still in high school. I was even able to test out possible majors through dual enrollment classes. As a homeschool student, you have more freedom than most to take advantage of dual enrollment at multiple locations. Don’t overlook this opportunity.
- Being friends with professors will more than likely be easier for you than most (I mean, think of your previous experience). This will be your greatest advantage! Use the gift you’ve developed to relate to people of any status and age. Many people don’t realize at first how much the professors are there for you. I cannot speak for all schools, but at Milligan, professors want to connect with you both in class and outside. They want you to ask questions and they want to share their stories. Go to their office hours for nothing more than to hear their life stories. You will never regret it.
The main thing to realize is that once you start college you are no longer a homeschooler. You are a college student just like the rest of your peers. Whether that is sad or exciting for you, there is so much opportunity to discover and explore in new and bigger settings. Have fun with it. Try new things. Foster curiosity and steward your opportunities. This season of life is so special and unique. You will never regret the investments and connections you make.
-Written by Abbie Rusell (’21)