Talking Running Start

Daughter and the Suitcase

Daughter in a wig walking down a street after a wind storm holding one of her antique suitcases. c. 2015 Raven J. Demers

Watching my daughter grow into a young woman who speaks her mind and is finding her own path in the world makes me all the more aware that in a few years, she’ll have the option to take off to far away lands to determine for herself what it means to be an adult.  During this self-exploration, I will remain a support for her and a guide when she wants it, but … I wish there was a word for the longing felt in realizing one’s child will soon not be a constant, comforting presence in one’s home.  My home.  I’ll have a five year old still depending on me, but my daughter has grown into more than a beloved child, she’s also a dear friend and companion with whom I can share inside jokes.  It’ll be a while before Son and I reach this level of complex understanding with one another.

In an effort to prepare her for that looming adulthood, about which she’s expressed some trepidation, I’ve once again brought up Running Start.  I pointed out that not only could she get used to a college environment before heading to a university, get an accredited degree by the time she’s 18, and be able to transfer to multiple schools around the country (and in other nations), but she could learn Japanese for the cost of books. Running Start is essentially two free years of college for youth ready for their junior year of high school.

We discussed how to ease gently into the demands of college, and how to make certain she can get as much from the experience as possible.  She’s agreed to take a Compass practice test and maybe even try taking the real one.  Passing it would be a sign to her that she’s ready to handle the coursework — or at least she’ll understand it.

It may be difficult to think of her leaving the nest, but it’s my job to give her the best tools I can to help her make her life amazing.

If you’re interested in learning more about Running Start, here are some links to help:

State of Washington: Running Start Sample Tests Free Compass Tests


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