She’s on track to become the youngest graduate at Fayetteville State University. Here's how she did it.
Obtaining a four-year Bachelor’s degree can be a daunting task. This is especially so for those who are unsure what career path they would like to pursue. For MiKayla Raines, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Spanish seemed obvious. Of course, she didn’t have a lot of time to doubt the track, as she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in just one year.
Fay Observer reports that Raines, who is 18, is on track to become one of the youngest graduates in Fayetteville State University. How did she do it? According to her, “it was a lot of sacrifices.” Additionally, Raines credits her family – specifically her mother – for helping her remain motivated and stay on course to graduate in May of this year.
“When I found out I would graduate this year, it was eye-opening for me,” she said. “It’s really happening.”
Most colleges recommend students take anywhere from 13 to 16 credits a semester. The soft-spoken teen took 21 this semester and did the same last fall, an amount considered to be an “overload.” She powered through the heavy workload while maintaining a GPA higher than 3.0.
“My stress reliever is music,” Raines admitted. “I listen to Anita Baker, hip hop, house music and EDM (electronic dance music).″
The 18-year-old was able to complete her Bachelor’s degree in one year as she began studying at FSU with enough credit hours to begin as a junior. This is a result of graduating from Cumberland International Early College High School in May 2016. The unique high school is one of a growing number that enables students to earn as much as two years worth of college credit before graduating. Raines could have studied for two years and graduated at age 21, but she decided at an earlier age to try and graduate at age eighteen.
“In high school, I had this goal to graduate college at 18 years old,” she said. “Cumberland International put me on this accelerated path, and it was motivation to know I could do it.”
Admittedly, the high school student is blessed as unlike many of her peers, she didn’t need to work while in high school or college to afford her studies. However, Raines did hold a job at the writing center during her first and only year of college. She also completed more than 100 hours of community service before graduating. On top of it all, she enrolled in summer classes and night classes to accrue more credit hours.
“There were times I felt I couldn’t do it anymore,” Raines confessed. “But my mother told me not to lose steam, and to think of the end goal. She gave me advice by being more than just my mother.”
This path certainly isn’t for everyone. Raines endured many sleepless nights and for the past couple of years, has had an endless flow of assignments to complete. Fortunately, she has a supportive family. Her mom, April, drove her daughter to many night classes, staying late with her. She also picked up food when MiKayla’s schedule didn’t allow for a lunch or dinner break.
Commenting on her daughter’s success, April stated:
“I knew she could do it and accomplish her goal. I can put the ‘p’ in proud. I’m a proud mother to an exceptional child. Actually, a young lady. She’s put together and well-spoken.”
To organize her schedule, Raines used a planner and phone apps. It’s worth noting that she would not have been able to graduate in one year had it not been for the structured curriculum of Cumberland International Early College High School.
“An early college is a necessity for those who want to get ahead,” she said. “I want to show people they can get ahead on their education.”
Raines’ new goal is to attend graduate school. She seeks to work in clinical or child psychology and is prepared to spend part of her summer vacations studying for the GRE. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!