Looking Inwards: A Student’s experience with PSEO


Campus Eye Staff

PSEO is Minnesota’s program for high school juniors and seniors to start college while still in high school

Cassie Tope, Contributing Writer/Photographer

Carissa Orlando is looking inwards to talk about multiple topics. From the way she was raised, to what she hopes her life looks like five years from now. One life event that has changed her life has been choosing to take PSEO class in high school. “One life event that has made me who I am today would probably be choosing to do PSEO in high school and being able to get away from a school that brought me absolute misery.” High School was hard for Orlando, from the environment and culture at St. Francis High School and struggling with her mental health. “Common misconceptions about depression are that people who are depressed are lazy, that they choose to be depressed, that they’re looking for attention, that it can easily be fixed, etc. I’ve been told all of these things before regarding my depression.” Struggling with her depression throughout High school made it harder for Orlando to show up to class every day.

Parenting styles have a lifelong impact on developing children. Such issues children face are low self-esteem, poor performance in school, and unhappiness. “I really wish my dad would have been nicer and gentler with me growing up. I also wish that they would have noticed early signs of my mental illness and disability rather than ignoring it for their peace of mind.” In 2020 a senior in the St. Francis High school class took his own life. Parker Peterson was a good friend of Orlando, and she held their relationship close to her heart. We often have regrets and things we wish we could have done differently. Although we cannot change the outcome after it makes us wonder, would it have changed? “I regret not hanging out with Parker before he passed. If I had the opportunity to go back and change that I absolutely would in a heartbeat. I feel like there’s a chance it could have changed everything.” Transitions in life can be overwhelming, but we often learn the most about ourselves in the most challenging of times. “I’ve grown a lot in the past year.

I got a job working in a healthcare facility that made me much more patient. I moved into a dorm and started my first year of college, which has taught me that dorm life is overrated, and that college is 1000% better than high school. I split apart from my boyfriend for a while because of the culture shock of moving to college but realized that he’s very good too and for me and that I didn’t want to give that up.” Growing up is hard, and a lot of the time it feels as though there is no end in sight. “I wish I could tell my younger self that things get better. As cliche as it sounds, every really bad thing that’s happened to me has gradually either gone away or has slowly gotten better.” A majority of people have goals on what they want their lives to look like five years from now between career, home life, and where they will be living. “I’m not really sure, to be honest. I hope that I’m in my first ‘real’ job. I hope that I’m happy with where I’m at in life. I hope that I’m not struggling financially, mentally, or physically, and I hope that I wake up and don’t dread every day.” Self-reflection throughout the day can help us better understand ourselves, and in turn, help the relationships we have with others.