It’s 11:48 p.m., and Grace Edens has hit a wall. She has spent the last hour on statistics homework and still needs to study for a midterm. That’s a lot for any college student, but Grace is a 17-year-old high school student attending Morehead State University's Craft Academy for Academic Excellence in Science and Mathematics.
The program selects high-achieving Kentucky teenagers to enroll as college students at MSU. During her application interview, Grace told the admissions panel, “I might not be as naturally bright (as other students), or have a 36 on the ACT, but I will outwork anyone. I will outstudy anyone. I have the work ethic to do this.”
To maintain her 3.96 GPA, she manages her time carefully, sometimes down to the minute. To decrease the stress and anxiety, Grace blocks out time for her boyfriend, J.D. from 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and then calls her dad at 9:50 p.m. before she goes to back to the books. Grace hopes that the hours of studying will be worth it in the future.
“I want to not have to worry about what’s in my bank account,” says Grace. “Can I afford to get these groceries? Can I afford to get my kid braces? Can I afford to take a day off? . . . I want to have safety and security.”
She also has the weight of her parents' expectations on her shoulders.
“(Every) time you raise the bar, you have to surpass it. OK, I got all A’s in high school, and now that I’m in college I have to get all A’s too . . . My parents were OK that I got a B in calculus . . . (but) I was crying.”
In spite of mounting stress, Grace decides to push through, striving for her next A.
“If I get a lot done, I rest easy at night. If I don’t get a lot done, then I feel bad at night and it’s hard for me to sleep.“