Bailey Dickerson, Soon-to-Be Graduate at 19
What has your education been like thus far?
When I first moved to North Carolina from Kansas, I went to my second semester of 8th grade. The high school I should have attended was in a rough part of town and not ideal. So instead, I decided to apply to what’s called a middle college, which is where you take high school and college classes at the same time. Lucky for me, the principal of the middle college was from Kansas too, so we bonded over that and I got my foot in the door. My freshman year of high school, at age 13, I was already taking classes on a college campus full-time.
Were you worried that you would struggle academically?
The workload actually wasn’t bad. I didn’t have a lot of expectations going into it, and I think that helped. I can say that the hardest classes I took were actually the high-school level curriculum, specifically chemistry and pre-calc; those subjects just really aren’t my area of expertise. Maybe that had something to do with me steering toward English.
This school was purely academic so we didn’t really have extracurricular activities like sports or clubs, so in my junior year I decided to start up a school newspaper. It was called The Monthly Ledger. I dedicated a good amount of time to it. I created it. It was my baby. And it was fairly successful. I wanted to be a journalist before I started working on The Monthly Ledger, but when it became this corporeal thing, this tangible object that I could hold in my hands, it really pointed my heart in that direction and proved to me that that is what I’m meant to do.
How old were you when you graduated?
I was 17 when I graduated from high school with an associates degree and decided on Arcadia. Because of my major, I have to spend two full semesters abroad, something I’m very excited about. Next semester I’m going to Scotland to study journalism and take specific classes that will really benefit and shape me in my career field. And since I’m only going to be at Arcadia for two years, I will spend the first semester of my senior year (Fall 2018) hopefully in Paris. In the spring of 2019, I will be back to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Global Media at 19.
Is it intimidating to go through these steps at such a young age?
It is a pretty scary thing to think that I will be expected to be an adult when I’ve only just started learning how to. For example, next semester I will have to buy my own groceries since I won’t have a meal plan. And I’m all for cooking, but I went from having free food in the pantry to having a meal plan, and now I have to do it all myself. But I’m so excited to be in my career field and that makes all of the new things, scary things, worth it. Every time I picture myself, I’m settled and in my career and I’m just really ready to be at that point, even if I am young.