Article by Emily Padgett | Photography by John Morin | Owl Staff

Do you remember your first day at HCC? Were you excited to start college? Scared? Now imagine being a home- schooler in the same situation. Imagine yourself not having any public or private school background and suddenly finding yourself thrown into a crowded class-room full of strangers and professors who don’t know you or your learning style.

When I walked through the doors on my first day at HCC, I had no idea what to expect. Being home-schooled my whole life, the only classroom settings I experienced had been with other home- schoolers.

I was anxious for the semester ahead. Would I understand homework assignments and teaching methods? Would I be able to break the “antisocial homeschooler” stereotype and make friends?

Upon initially attending college, most homeschoolers that I have known are entering into their first classroom experience. They often have the same fears and apprehensions that I had. Despite the skepticism that homeschoolers are often met with, those whom I have spoken to tend to thrive in a college setting in ways that public or private schooled students do not always achieve.

According to a few of the many home schoolers who attend HCC, their college experience has been mostly positive. “I was really nervous and scared. I was worried about not being able to find what I thought. Once I started going to my classes I realized that I had worried over absolutely nothing.”

General Studies major Garrett Vesly adds, “My personal experience going from a home-school setting to a public-school setting was not very difficult at all… I was just a little nervous, not because of going to a classroom but more the fact that I was starting college.”

Although these home-school students adapted easily to the new environment and structure, there are often fears and apprehensions upon starting college. Fear of the unknown can have a crippling effect and home school students need to know how to overcome that anxiety.

“[Home-schoolers] tend to thrive in a college setting in ways that public or private schooled students do not …”

Upon enrolling at HCC, I recommend that home schooled students meet with either Jim Quigg or Bill Elliot at Academic Advising. They are the two advisors who primarily assist such students.

“Just be yourself,” Tiffanie suggests to new students. “Having been homeschooled isn’t a bad thing, so don’t listen to other people if they say something negative to you about it.”

It has now been more than two years since I started at HCC, and I realize that most of my initial fears were unfounded. I miss being homeschooled, but I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I have to get out of my comfort zone.

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