Elementary school is supposed to prepare you for junior high, junior high is supposed to prepare you for high school, high school is supposed to prepare you for college, and college is supposed to prepare you for your career. Right? This is how it is supposed to work?
I feel like I was not adequately prepared for college. Don't get me wrong, there were some teachers and some classes that were very helpful in preparing me for college, but overall, I feel like I was not prepared. Here are three ways I feel like I was unprepared.
1. The Coursework
I get that I am in college now and the course work will be harder. I completely understand that. What I don't understand is why the coursework has to be so drastically different. Yes, there is variation between each college just as there is at each high school, but there are some basic similarities. The coursework moves faster and often times you will be doing work at least a few sections ahead of what you may be being tested on that week. High school did not prepare me for this. We wouldn't move on to another section until after we were tested. The due dates are also a lot more predictable in college. I have Physics homework due every Wednesday and Calculus homework due every Tuesday and Friday. In high school, due dates for my homework were a lot more unpredictable. This made it so I couldn't learn the valuable tool of scheduling in high school. I had to wait until college to learn this skill while I was trying to handle every other new aspect of college. This is a skill I feel I should have easily been able to learn in high school and never was.
2. College Credit Plus
In Ohio, when you take college classes during your time at high school it is called College Credit Plus (CCP). These classes should have prepared me for college, right? They definitely didn't. First of all, when you take them at the high school like many of my friends and I did, you are taking a course that would be a semester long over the course of an entire year. You are also taking that course for about 40 minutes 5 times a week instead of 50 minutes three times a week. This extra time adds up to lead to a very unprepared student who has every reason to think they are more prepared. I was well aware that this extra time would make the course seem a lot easier than it would be on a college campus but just how much easier was surprising to me.The courses are a lot and I mean A LOT harder without all of that extra time. It comes as a shock even to those students who were expecting it as I was.
But that isn't my only problem with the CCP program in Ohio. Because of CCP, my high school has done away with AP courses. I don't mean we have less than we used to. I mean my high school now offers absolutely ZERO AP courses. When I went through we offered one course, which was AP Government. Now that I am gone there aren't any offered because they have instead been replaced by CCP courses. During my senior exit interview, my principal asks every senior if they were principal for the day, what would they do to the school. I said I would bring back the AP courses that have been replaced by CCP courses. He then explained to me that my high school offers those courses because it guarantees the students college credit, unlike the AP test where they have to score high enough to get college credit. I then explained to him that the college I was looking at (which is where I now attend) would not accept those credits. He tried to argue with me that of course, they would. I want to make it clear, I received zero transfer credits when I came here.
3. Culture Shock
I don't know if there is anyway high school could have prepared me for this, but I can say that it didn't prepare me at all. The biggest part of the transition to college was an incredibly large culture shock. Everything is different and you are placed into a completely different community than you grow up in. Not only that, but everybody else is also going through this, so during orientation, you just have a bunch of people all going through this change at the same time. That is something high school definitely did not prepare me for.