The transition into college for any student is new and difficult. Personally, one of the things I've found to be the most difficult was going from a private high school to college . My college is even considered a Marianist University, but not everyone expresses the same believes or does actions that pertain to the marianist values. Private and public school can be very different. The amount of stereotypes about how private vs public high schools run are always being spread around. You have the rumors that private school kids are rich and snotty and public school kids aren't disciplined and don't want to work hard. Most of these stereotypes aren't true, but after going to one or the other, you are not sure what to expect when your new college friends went to the opposite of you. Here are 6 things to help give you the inside scoop on what private school was like and why it can be hard to transition into college.
1. The Uniforms
One of the weirdest transitions into college is having the freedom to where whatever you want. Us private school kids were so used to our uniforms that the thought of having to put together an outfit everyday seemed strange. Our uniforms made us feel safe and equal to one another. It's nice getting to where what I want, but at the same time I don't want to have to feel judged for what I wear whereas in high school there wasn't much judging on what you're wearing because it's all the same.
Most private high schools are college prep schools, meaning that the course load will be much larger and harder. Most students are taking AP classes and sometimes even IB classes if your school offered it. Even if you weren't taking AP or IB classes, your work was still twice as hard as others. This prepared us greatly for college, but I've been in instances where people called you a "know it all" when really your private high school just taught you more information. Another thing people need to realize is that some public high schools academics can be just as challenging. You can't assume that only private schools face rigorous academics.
The biggest difference between private and public high school is the money costs. A lot of kids that go to private school go their through scholarship, their parents work extra hard to make more money, and because of religious purposes. Private school can get pricey, but you can't assume that just because a person went to private school means that they're rich. But this also means that you can assume only poor people go to public school. Most of the time, the reason why a student goes to a certain school is based on their opinions of the school, not on how much it costs.
4. Size and Gender
Another big difference between private and public school is the amount of people in it and whether it was all male or all female. My graduating class had 200 people in it, but I know of people that had a graduating class of 2,000. When transitioning to a big college, it may not phase public school kids how many people there are. But to a private school kid, it's like stepping into a new universe. Another big change is going to an all male or all female school and then going to college where its all genders. Most public school kids don't understand this transition, but it can be weird having the opposite gender in your classes now.
Again, another big difference is that a private school will affiliate with a religion whereas a public school won't. Both religious and non religious people go to both private and public high school. However, there are more expectations from private school kids than for public. Private school kids are required to go to mass, do service hours, take religion classes, go on retreats, and much more. Some public schools offer these things, but private schools are required to do all of these things. It can be difficult going into college and not having to do all of these things anymore. It gives you a sense of freedom but I've also found it makes me feel bad if I don't do these things anymore so I always try to continue doing these things in college which can be challenging at times.
Hopefully this will help you see why it can be challenging going from private high school to college. However, regardless of whether you went to private school or public school, the transition is going to be hard. By the end of graduation it won't matter what kind of high school you went to. The best thing to do is to not judge and try to make college the best years of your life.