Early College Hosts Boot Camp

Incoming freshmen get early look at Early College
By: Todd Martin
Incoming Early College High School freshmen received an early look this week at their untraditional campus during a boot camp orientation.
Just out of eighth grade, the students spent four days on the Early College campus at Central Texas College.
They progressed through classrooms, interacted with some of their future teachers and heard first-hand testimony from current students.
The camp ended with a student panel where upperclassmen answered questions of the new freshmen.
The panel members’ answers drew a picture of a school where most students take learning seriously, avoid a lot of emotional drama and function as a close-knit family that is quick to accept.
The incoming sophomores, juniors and seniors also said the rigorous workload that combines high school and college is only overwhelming if you fail to prepare and keep up with assignments.
“I really enjoy being here,” said Esperanza Jones, now entering her sophomore year at Early College. “It’s a nice community, very accepting. They push us to our maximum potential.”
She was excited to volunteer her time to interact with incoming freshman and hopes they understand the importance of working hard from the beginning.
“It’s not as hard as some people say,” she said, “if you work hard and talk to your teachers.”
Junior Janiyah McIntyre said she didn’t think she would like a high school without traditional sports and other extra-curricular offerings, but she was surprised.
“I’ve grown a lot. I’ve learned to be more productive and to use time management,” she said. “It’s been a fun experience. I’ve met a lot of friends. It’s a close-knit community. (Teachers) are there for you.”
Junior Jayla Davis said she struggled with procrastinating her work when she started high school. “You have to learn to prioritize,” she said. “If you don’t, it can get stressful.”
Junior Iliana Lopez said she heard great things coming into Early College High School, but COVID restrictions made her freshman year difficult. The past year has been what she expected.
“This year, we had our Lions Olympics,” she said. “It was more fun. It’s a great learning environment. Teachers care about you and build strong relationships.”
The current Early College High School Lions said they hope the incoming freshmen learned they are coming to a great place.
“I hope they come out of their comfort zones and talk to people and see what Early College is really like,” said McIntyre.
“I hope they learn not to procrastinate,” said Lopez. She said new students will find that their peers are more mature than most their age and that the more they mix with others, the more they will enjoy the experience.