Online VS. Traditional High School

online school, online class, online high school, california schoolBrooke is a 16-year-old from Sunnyvale, CA. She enjoys dancing, swimming, singing, studying languages and her dream is to study, work, or live abroad.


High school in filled with challenges. Maybe you won’t get classes you like with your friends, maybe you don’t get picked to be on the team, maybe you simply don’t like your school. This is where a number of options arise. You can roll with the punches and try to enjoy your time at school, or you could opt for a different kind of education all together: online school. For some, that phrase may sound like torture. For others, it’s a welcoming safe haven. For me, it was certainly the latter.

I had a tough time adjusting to public high school after going to exclusively private schools since kindergarten. But times became rough, and the price of a private education was rising. Needless to say, I was pulled out of the school I loved and knew, and then thrown into a public school environment. Luckily for me, two of my friends were starting at the same school. Still, I found it hard to make solid friends, as there were so many students. I wasn’t truly fond of any of my teachers. Classes drove me crazy, they were longer and covered material I had learned years before.

I had had enough. Near the end of the first semester of my 9th grade year, I began exploring my options. Then I found what I knew was a perfect fit: an online high school run by a company called k12. With this program, you could go to school online in a public or private school, and have more time for interests outside of school. My parents knew how miserable I was, and decided that it was best I give the online school a try.

And boy, did I love it! To this day, I still attend an online public school called CAVA (California Virtual Academies), and I couldn’t be happier. But, as with any school situation, there are bound to be pros and cons. As stated before, students have much more time to pursue other interests. You can take an art class or do another hour of gymnastics in your spare time. You can also work at your own pace, which I think is one of the biggest pros. You don’t have to do group projects- so, you truly get grades you deserve. My grades have become much better in a non-distracting environment (my room without other students). Teachers are friendly and helpful.

But, of course, there are down sides: the biggest, obviously, being a social life. If you have a bunch of friends on your street, then you’re good to go. If not, then having friends can be somewhat of a challenge. You could, of course make friends by playing a sport or taking classes. If you’re religious, a great way to make friends is to join a youth group. The only time online students meet up is for state and PE testing. Students can certainly use this to their advantage and meet new people who live in their town or city. The number of friendly and interesting students you can meet on testing days may surprise you. Plus, they completely understand your situation, and are probably feeling the same way as you. Another con is that you must be self-disciplined. It’s your job to get your work done and stay on track!

K12 offers online school for grades k-12 within the US as well as an international online school that is great for military families.

All in all, I think online school is a fantastic idea for those who are good at organizing their time and ready to practice self-discipline. This being said, it is not a good choice for everyone. You should choose the type of school you attend according to your personal needs. But if you are unhappy in a typical school setup, online school may just be right for you.
Photo Credit: Utnapistim on flickr


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