Ayla Polfus began taking Bay classes last month. Though she experienced some difficulties in high school, she has found college easier to deal with thus far.
Ayla graduated from Escanaba High School in 2015. During her senior year, she got sick with pneumonia but had trouble getting her resulting absences excused. Due to this, she had to catch up by taking a course load of 10 classes, including two history and two math classes.
“I did want to go to college, but I also wanted a very long ‘gap year.’ High school was very stressful for me,” she said.
After a few years passed, Ayla decided to sign up for classes at Bay College. One major factor in her decision was its closeness to home – while she spent much of her life in Cedar River, she moved to Escanaba at 17.
“I could walk home after classes if I really needed to,” she said.
She had also heard good things about Bay from friends who had taken classes there in the past.
“I thought it would be a good college to go to and dip my toes in the water,” Ayla said.
“I grew up experimenting with plants…I just love foraging and nature,” she said of the latter field.
Meanwhile, English classes have naturally been easy for Ayla in the past.
“I’ve always been very good at English – I have a flair for it,” she said.
As of early October, Ayla said things have been going well for her at Bay. Though she has had some struggles related to math, she appreciates the wide range of support services provided by the school – including TRIO tutoring.
“My tutor’s nice, and he’s very helpful in helping me understand things, especially because we have similar thought processes,” she said.
Along with classes and tutoring sessions, she has also spent time volunteering at Bay’s campus greenhouse.
“Whenever I have time in between classes, I’ll usually be cleaning or replanting plants,” Ayla said.
Currently, Ayla aims to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in a field she is interested in. Beyond that, she is still working to figure things out.
“I’m just taking my time – I don’t want to make a rash decision,” she said.