GREENSBORO -- Many students may be anxious about their first day at a new school. Just imagine a group of ninth graders showing up for their first day at college.
Some of Guilford County Schools brightest are now students at the STEM Early College and North Carolina A&T campus where 50 freshmen will ultimately graduate with a high school diploma and two years worth of college credit.
"It will be rigorous," student Dylan Jordan said. "A bigger work load, but it will be worth it in the end."
In this early college program, students will have a specialized focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Even though these students aren't old enough to possess a driver's permit, they already have a clear view of their future.
"Computer engineering or computer science," Jordan said.
"Pharmaceutical engineer," Kyler Mark said.
"Architecture and drafting," Dennis Quintaince said.
And to ring in the new school and new year, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller welcomed students.
"You all are being prepared to be contributors to tomorrow's solutions," Miller said.
"Puts a little pit in your stomach, but I know deep down if I work and 'power through,' that I can get everything done," Quintance said.
Even with some added pressure, school administrators said they will strive to deliver a high school experience.
"We're going to try to arrange so they can go to a football game so we can have spirit week and have prom, dances, and things like that," Principal Stacey Alston said. "So we want to nurture the fact that we are different, but at the same time, make sure the things that we all remember from high school, they get that experience as well."