High School vs. College

Sophi Sanchez, Senior Editor

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Whether you take advanced placement or regular classes, work hard in them or don’t, does high school really prepare you for college?

We place so much emphasis on standardized testing that we have conditioned students’ minds into remembering material for the test, then throwing it out the window. How much information do we retain from high school, and does it really serve us in tackling our career goals? I asked three college students (two freshmen and one sophomore), each pursuing a different degree, whether or not they felt that their high school curriculum braced them for the storm that is college. 

One college freshman, a BS/PharmD student, pushed herself to take as many college classes and dual credits as were offered. Due to the high level courses she took, she felt more prepared than most, but still realized that her study habits were lacking. She also observed that the information she learned in high school has been of little use to her in college, save for formatting methods and essay organization. 

Another college freshman majoring in pre-medical sciences also took advanced placement and dual credit classes, but felt that they did not prepare her for the course load, saying “I’ve learned so much this past year because you fly through all the chapters and you’re expected to know everything that you need to know..but there’s so much more information in my head that it kind of drowns out where I learned what.” 

A college sophomore majoring in aviation systems management emphasized the extra responsibility that a college student has, including yourself and the knowledge required of you. Students are responsible for the work assigned in class in addition to whatever work is required outside of class to succeed. High school also doesn’t teach you basic life skills, like paying bills and managing money and time. 

As a high school senior, I’m both excited and scared for what lies ahead. I know that the program I’ve chosen is especially rigorous and that my current course load wouldn’t prepare me for it. Even taking AP courses all day wouldn’t brace me for what’s coming. If the high expectations I set for myself in high school help even a little bit in college and medical school, I’ll be happy. 

Long story short, challenging yourself in high school equals success in college. Nothing really prepares you for it, but pushing yourself to take harder classes just might. Taking classes such as accounting and economics could also make your transition to the real world smoother. 

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