The Causes and Effects of Enrolling in “Pre-College” Courses What is a “pre-college” course? I think every American knows what it is, but for me, I never heard about this term in my country; it is also new to me. When I decided to study in the United States, I began to become familiar with the word. After I took my placement test, I needed to enroll in a few “pre-college” courses. I finally understood at that time when my advisor told me. “Pre-college” courses are set up for all freshman students who do not have enough ability to reach the college level and are considered as “developmental courses.
” In general, I can recognize that being an athlete and my background caused me to enroll in “pre-college” courses, and they also bring me some related effects, such as losing of money and time. First, “pre-college” courses are required as I am an international student; my background has a large difference between me and other native English speakers. I am an Asian student who is from Hong Kong. People in Hong Kong, including me, have a different culture, living style, and education system.
Although Hong Kong was ruled by British before 1997, English was still most Hong Kong students’ second language. Since Hong Kong returned to China, students’ English standard has been degrading year by year. Even though some schools used English to teach subjects, students preferred using Cantonese to communicate with others in school. The situation was the same in my school. My school did not require using much English when I had classes. I had regular English class in school time; it still could not help me reach the advanced level because we had no chances to practice our reading and writing.
Besides, my school had lower standard on English and I only needed some very basic skills to complete my English test. I had many extra subjects that I needed to handle every year during my high school years, such as Chinese, Mathematics, Chinese History, and Geography. I did not have enough time to take care of my English, not to mention read English books or watch English movies. Another reason I needed to enrolled in “pre-college” courses when I first came and continued my study in the United States is because I was a basketball player.
When I was in my high school, I loved playing basketball. Basketball is my favorite sport until now. I was one of my school basketball team; therefore, I neglected most of the English practice at that time, and my English became worse and worse. Because I needed to practice with my team every day, I got home when it was nearly 8 pm every night. I did not have any time to do my revision on English. Even during holidays, I still needed to spend six hours to practice with my team. Sometimes, I would miss my class because I had some competitions.
Furthermore, I went to China for an athlete exchange program when I was grade 10. I spent a whole year in China to exchange our skills; I did not need to use any English to talk to other players and coaches. After I came back to my school, I failed my English test without any practice. In addition, I received special treatment because I was a basketball team member. I could do my assignment casually, but I still got high marks; I could miss my lessons by telling my teachers that I needed to practice, and of course, I was a truant at that time because sometimes I lied.
It is only when I came and enrolled in the pre-college courses that I realized there were unforeseen effects to my university life. First, loss of time is the most important effect when I enrolled in “pre-college” courses. After I started learning in few “pre-college” courses, I found that they are useful to help me improve my English, but it also cost me a lot time to catch up my English proficiency. I have a lot of vocabulary that I did not know; I needed to check every one of them in the dictionary before I did my homework. I might spend an hour to complete one of the homework assignments.
If I need to improve more, I know that just completing my homework is not enough. I tried to read more English books, watch English movies, and do online exercises. Due to this reason, I have no spare time to play basketball or do what I want to do. Furthermore, I might need to use at least one or more semesters to complete my degree, and this will affect my transferring procedure because some universities do not accept students who study more than two years in community college. It will delay my graduation form my university; I will be late to find a job.
For some jobs, the age becomes important, and I may lose the chance to get them because I delayed in my studying plan. Second, money is the thing I need to consider when I enroll in “pre-college” courses. As I need to pay for every credit hour, I have to plan what I need to study carefully. Because I may need to study half a year more at Vincennes University, the education will cost me more. When I enrolled in “pre-college” courses, not only I need to pay for the “pre-college” courses, but also the other courses in the extra semester.
I didn’t expect that I really need the extra semester to complete my degree at Vincennes University. I have to pay more for my housing, living, and tuition. At this time, it is imperative for me to consider if my family can afford it or not because the cost for the extra semester may be up to ten thousand US dollars; it also seriously disrupts my financial budget. It will become a heavy financial burden for me, and I think I am going to work for a year to earn money for my university if it is necessary. It will delay my study plan so that I cannot find a job as early as I could.
I believe that enrolling “pre-college” courses is good for everyone, but we need to understand its causes and effects. It depends on every different situation or different people. As I am an athlete and my background is different from other Americans, it causes me to enroll in “pre-college” courses. This also brings me a lot of problems; loss of time and money become my greatest effects of enrolling “pre-college” courses. It is necessary for me to plan my studying plan again to solve the effects that the courses bring me.