One of the questions I get asked most often when people learn I completed high school as a full-time distance education student is: “Why?” or “How did you get started in that?” The simple answer is, I wanted to. However, my story is not quite as simple as that.

I started attending my first online school at the beginning of Grade 9. My family had recently moved provinces and my new school wasn’t a good fit for me. I was often bored in class and found myself finishing tasks and assignments well ahead of the class; I needed a change in pace. While I was brainstorming different options for schools with my parents, my mom briefly mentioned online school as an option.

The prospect of online school and distance education immediately caught my attention.

I spent that summer researching different online schools, what they offered, their delivery platforms, and what I needed to do in order to be a successful distance education student. I also had to convince my parents that I could handle managing a large portion of my studies on my own, a reversal of the common roles in families with school-aged children.

I came up with many reasons as to why distance education would be a good fit for me; these reasons ranged from “I can learn at my own pace and take a wider variety of courses” to “if I’m home all day, I can cook supper for you.” Ultimately, I won my parents over and I began studying online in the fall of 2012.

My studies were going quite well, though I had to make one major sacrifice with my choice of online school: I was no longer in French Immersion. For the first time in my grade school education, I was learning everything in English. Since one of my major reasons to becoming a distance education student was to reduce boredom in my day-to-day activities, I was unhappy with this shift in language.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted to go back to studying in French Immersion, which is how I found ADLC. At the beginning of the 2013 academic school year, I started routing the majority of my courses through ADLC. One of my teachers pointed out that I was one course away from being a full-time Vista Virtual (VVS) student, so at the beginning of the next school year, I moved my English to VVS and finished high school as a VVS student.

By moving my last class to VVS, I had access to all my teachers and learning resources in one location. I found this helpful when it came to asking for help and preparing for exams. Through VVS, I was able to study all my core subjects in French, as well as pursue other classes that interested me, such as Spanish and Art. I can honestly say I was never bored again.

Being a distance education student presented many challenges as well as many benefits for my high school years.

My four years of distance education were difficult, but extremely worth the struggle. I learned many things through my studies at ADLC and VVS that I don’t believe I would have learned in a more traditional school environment.

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Online registrations, course selections, forms, and ADLC's store will be offline this weekend and through Monday for planned maintenance. Services should be restored on Tuesday Dec. 19.
ADLC campuses will be closed for the holidays Dec. 22–Jan. 1 2018, reopening Jan. 2. Teachers will be unavailable until Jan. 8.