High school by no means is easy. I much prefer waking up at 9 o’clock on my Tuesdays and Thursdays to attend my interesting 50-minute 11 o’clock class in college rather than waking up at 6am on the daily to be in my boring classes for seven hours by 7:30am in high school. Now granted, some perks to high school is knowing you’re going to be done with class once the bell to your last period rings at 2:51pm and not dreading the fact that you chose to have your biology lab section to be on Tuesday nights from 6:15pm to 9:50pm (life is not easy for a college pre-health student). It’s also nice to have a full year to learn the class material knowing you’re not going to be taking finals before Christmas break. And it’s also nice to know that you can pick your class schedule as an upperclassman and not have any idea of what you want to do for the rest of your life.
High school is not a big deal if you know what you’re doing for the most part. It’s four years dedicated towards figuring out what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. That’s all it is and if I were to be in a situation where I had to go back to high school and do it all over again, I would because I now know what education means having already scratched the college surface. Everyone who comes out of high school is not expected to be good at every single subject matter or be interested in absolutely every class that’s been taken. Four years of high school is made to expose us to the material that we could be interested in and want to explore more of. Four years of high school is supposed to be where we find the motivation and drive to gain more education in the bigger institution that is college. Four years of high school is where we gain the potential to become a better version of we previously were. So what is the difference between four years of high school and one semester of college? At first they're pretty much the same.
There is not much to say about the differences between the high school senior and the college freshmen. They both adhere to the same good or bad work ethic, they both pick classes without any idea of where they’ll be in the future, and they both passively breeze through weeks and weeks of classes until running into their exams where they panic knowing about imminent failure. So when does the high school senior start becoming a college student? It’s when they figure out that education is more than just a grade and learn how to acquire knowledge by themselves. It’s when they figure out that a 50-minute lecture is not the only place where students learn but it’s their whole environment that educates them. Based on this explanation, a lot of us have been a college student before setting foot on a college campus. And no taking AP classes and college courses do not count because there is more to college than just the educational aspect.
Social life adds another dimension to the college experience that you cannot get in out of four years in high school. You are constantly surrounded by people who may have opinions about your personal beliefs. In addition, the odds of you having a conversation with another person after stepping out of your room is super likely. In college, you never escape social contact. A student can have a decent high school life being an introvert knowing they’ll be at home in the end of the day. The college experience forces many to break out of their nervous nature and become part of the campus community. College gives students a real opportunity to project themselves onto a bigger institution before going to the work force or going to an even bigger institution.
So in the end what is one semester of college? At least for me, it’s the last opportunity to find out my flaws before I go on and fix them in the future. It’s an opportunity to shake off four years of carelessness and turn it into three and a half years of a more meaningful educational experience. One semester of college will make you realize how fortunate you are to be in school whereas four years of high school may make you regret waking up to go to class in the first place. For many, high school is a process of covering, what is always described as, “pointless material” that manifests itself into a “useless education”. One semester of college will make you realize that high school was not so useless but rather you realize that it was pretty crucial. Four years of high school is the baseline of education that’s expanded upon and applied in college. So for those you who are finishing up your four years and are looking to where to spend your next four, think about what you want those years to add up to and you want them to mean. But most importantly, think about how to spend those years. If you thought high school was bad, steer away from repeating that experience in college because your first semester is where you figure out how to become a new student and contributor to society.