University High School class president says he is ready for college

High school is an important time for children as they begin their transition to becoming young adults, and South Windsor resident Mathew Edison said his choice of going to the University High School of Science and Engineering made all the difference for him. Edson graduated from the school last month as president of his class. UHSSE is among the top rated magnet schools in the country, according to Magnet Schools of America.

"It was awesome because not only were you a part of the school you were a part of the college," Edson said referring to the University of Hartford. The high school is on the university's campus. Edson added that the academic benefits is what made him choose the school.

Edson began taking college classes during his sophomore year. While he was slightly intimated by his first class at UHART, he quickly adapted. By putting his all into his work, the age difference in the classroom was not a factor.

"Everyone treats you the same," Edson said referring to the UHART students. "They don't really care that you're a high school student." He added that he remembered one of his classmates did so well in a college math course that he became a paid tutor for a college student.

Edson said he didn't find it difficult to adjust to the college workload because he was already taking advanced math and honor classes as a part of the regular high school curriculum. He also had the opportunity to take UConn Early College Experience courses which included general chemistry, American studies, introduction to English and calculus. These classes will transfer with him when he attends UConn in the fall."

I think it'll be nice because I can take a lighter load, [earn my degree] in three years, and do a double major or something," Edson said.

Edson was part of the baseball team at the school and said they became like a family to him. The majority of the UHSSE athletic teams are co-ops with other magnet schools in the Hartford area.

An aspect that Edson said he enjoyed was the diversity of the school. Interacting with others from different cultures opened him up to more than just the town of South Windsor, he said. He added that people don't usually interact with people that think differently than them until they are enrolled in college.

"It feels like the first step," he said. "It feels like the college environment and then you get to come back home. It was kind of like a stepping stone to college."

Edson said that some students might be hesitant to go to a school out of town because of the new environment but that the in the long run they will understand the value of their decision.

"While it may seem scary to leave the norm that is the public school system, it's nice to go and experience something different, especially when you end up thriving in it," Edson said.

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