Throughout my first year in college, I worked hard to keep up with my family and friends, a lot of whom were still grinding it out in high school. Once the first semester was over and I was off for a few weeks for Winter break, it was bizarre that after sharing "how are you doing?"s, many people back in my home town seemed to have a similar question on their minds: "Which do you like better, high school or college?" The first time I heard this question I was completely taken aback. I loved my high school and all of the friends and knowledge I gained from my experience there, but I was also so thrilled to be at UVA and loving every last second. This being said, after thinking through, the choice was obvious to me. Let me guide you exactly through the thought process that brought me to the conclusion that college is the best experience I've had in my learning career so far.
If you clicked on this article from my Facebook or Instagram, it's probably obvious that you can find me every week at either the football stadium or basketball arena.
Every week EveryDAY there is always SOMETHING going on whether it's a sporting event, free concerts, guest speakers, or even farmer's markets! High school football games are a blast, (especially if you're in the band), but there aren't many events through the school to look forward to on a regular basis, especially if you're not an upperclassman..
Think of anything that you love. Got it in your head? I guarantee you, there's a club at college that will satisfy that love. Tater tots? Dog watching/petting? There's a club at my school that will send you a notification whenever there are tater tots in the dining hall or dogs on the "lawn." This being said, despite the endless amount of organizations and activities that are at your disposal in college, it's not super realistic to be your college's lacrosse captain, drum major, NHS-president-equivalent, what have you, like you were in high school while still maintaining a great GPA. So, recap: College? Quidditch team, study abroad, tater tot club, but only 2 or 3 of those (crazy, specific, and amazing) clubs to keep those grades on the good side (really, the papers worth 10-30% of your grade pile UP). High school? Pile. Those. (average) Clubs. ON.
3. Class Opportunities
Ah, classes. Like organizations, there is such a wide array of classes that you can sign up for. At my school, there's a class with the sole focus of Dracula that fills up as SOON as enrollment opens. Also, in high school, I know there were always classes that were avoided specifically because students didn't want to take the class with the specific teacher. Well, guess what? In college, there are multiple teachers for the same intro class! Even more, you can schedule classes to coincide with everything else going on in your life. You don't want classes on Tuesday and Thursday? No problem! The power is yours, and it's no longer waking up every morning at 7:30 like it is in high school if that's not your jam (it sure isn't mine!).
4. New Experiences & Challenges
A lot of people that go to college are living by themselves for the first time in their lives. That in itself is so different than any other experiences and is indescribably exciting, but also scary. I can't even imagine the kids that start off their college career studying abroad. Just being three hours away, it absolutely sucks not seeing my parents and sweet pup everyday, but it's so exciting and truly gives you perspective into how much your family does for you. Mom and Dad can't make you a delicious dinner or do any loads of laundry for you, and calling just isn't the same as real life. College brings so many changes, but I can't think of one that doesn't have a positive spin to it.
When it comes down to both of the title pictures, there's no way I can say I was happier after a win at Scott Stadium than when I felt a surge of pride after nailing one of my first marching band performances of senior year. I absolutely adore all of the friends that I made in high school and have one of them actually sitting right beside me as I type, and am so thankful for everything that high school provided me with. I'll never forget my roots. That being said, I am so ridiculously excited for everything that's yet to come, and being at my dream college reminds me of the endless possibilities just waiting out there for me every single day. :)