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Balancing Running Start (Q&A)

By Staff Writer Jada Daniels

Graphics by Nick Fore

While the first semester has ended for Timberline students, Running Start students experience a new beginning with the commencement of their winter quarter. Running Start students are Timberline students who take a varying amount of college classes at South Puget Sound Community College from full to part time. The Blazer checks in on two Running start Students- senior Randy Thach, and junior Natalie Ngyuen as they head into a new quarter.

What classes are you taking at SPSCC and Timberline?

Natalie: “I am currently taking US History 1, General Bio, and Japanese 1. I am only taking Wind Ensemble at Timberline.”

Randy: “This quarter I just have english, psychology, and ceramics! At Timberline I have Leadership second period.”

Why did you decide to do running start?

Natalie: “I decided to do Running Start not only because my parents keep goading me into doing so, but because I want to get the college credit and, more importantly, get my Associate’s.”

Randy: “Because honestly I was kinda tired of being [at Timberline] and also it helps with college because it’s free for high school students.”

On average how much homework do you recieve from SPSCC and Timberline combined?

Natalie: “It depends on the week. Some weeks you get absolutely no homework, and then the next hour hit with a tsunami of it.”

Randy: “It depends on what class you take. Say with ceramics it’s all in class, and there’s different types of classes. A web class that’s all online, a hybrid that’s in class and online and then there’s just in person. I feel hybrid is a little bit more because you have to do more on your own outside of school, all of mine are hybrid classes.”

Have you noticed any changes in your mood since winter classes have started?

Natalie: “Luckily I haven’t been hit with the seasonal depression this year, but the shift of pace from fall classes does bring me a bit of stress. I only have three 5 credit classes, but all of them expect the most out of me.”

Randy: “I actually have [been more stressed]. With fall quarter, I did every single assignment, I passed every class with a B or higher, I was pretty on top of it! But this quarter, I feel unmotivated and do everything last minute which is not me at all, so this is really stressful for me.”

Do you have any non-academic interests?

Natalie: “I’m one of four baritone players in the entire school, and I really enjoy playing my instrument. I also take up a lot of my time playing video games.”

Randy: “I like to go on walks and hikes, running and volleyball!”

Do you find yourself with time to practice them?

Natalie: “Surprisingly yes, sometimes. On weeks where I don’t have much work, usually I could sneak in a few hours of Mario Kart or Skyrim. On the weekends I bring my instrument home for practice instead.”

Randy: “I feel like with my schedule I dont really have time. Some things I do indoors. I’m not the best cook but I like doing it, along with baking. Those I feel like I can do depending on my work schedule so I do get time to practice those.”

What is your advice to potential future Running Start students?

Natalie: “If anything goes wrong, whether you fail a class, or a final, or a midterm, or whatever, just know that everything is going to turn out fine. That, and make sure you check your class work daily.”

Randy: “You have to have some sort of organizational tool. I have a planner, I write down everything and actually go back to look at it instead of just writing and leaving it. That’s helpful for me, but for anyone that’s going to [try Running Start] they just need to find an organizational skill that works for them.”