Football games, basketball games, midnight runs to restaurants following extra-curricular activities, little to no time spent on homework in comparison to the college study load, and dress codes essentially make up the generalized memories of high school.
Am I right?
We look back on high school, and we remember being perturbed by adults’ constant concerns about what we were wearing and if we were home by our respective curfews. We remember having miniscule responsibilities, and our biggest causes of stress were from our scholarship deadlines during our senior years.
Soon, we began making our transitions into college. We enjoyed our last summers with our friends and we tried to enjoy our last bits of freedom during our in-between stages of childhood and semi-adulthood. We bent the rules, stayed out late, and tried justifying every moment in which we lost all sense of responsibility. Our summers finally came to a close, and we were faced with leaving our childhood homes in exchange for our lives at college, even if our new homes were barely an hour away.
At first, we were hit with culture shock as we realized the importance of responsibility and the intensity our professors expected in the classrooms. We even second-guessed our decisions to attend college when we began our required core classes, but then we realized our love for learning once we entered our specialized degree courses.
We soon realized how little we learned in high school.
We came to college without resumes, little-to-no job experience, and less than exceptional study habits. We think about those worksheets we had to complete in high school, and we laugh because they didn’t help us accomplish anything. We learned how to stay busy and get by without actually retaining any information. We spent our classes trying to talk to friends or catch up on outside reading. When we were bored, we learned how to get out of those lackluster situations by telling our teachers we needed to either go to the bathroom or get something out of our lockers.
We learned how to never be taken seriously.
We wondered why our teachers told us we weren’t ready for college because we felt as though they were coddling us. We felt as though they didn’t believe in us, and we felt as though they didn’t respect us.
How could they take us seriously when we could barely finish reading ten pages from our current reading? How could they take us seriously when we missed class three days out of the month? How could they take us seriously when we didn’t study for a chapter exam, which then resulted in a less-than-average percentage?
I ask current high school students this: Do you want to be taken seriously?
Participate in class discussions. Ask your teachers for study tips. Finish your required readings. Complete each worksheet your teachers assign.
If you get to college and you feel as though you completely wasted four years of your life in high school, think about what you could have done differently. Apply those lessons to your current life in college.
Do you look back on your time and realize you rarely hung out with people?
Do you look back on your time and realize you never asked your teachers for help?
Do you look back on your time and realize you never studied for classes?
Do you look back on your time and realize you never got involved?
Think about it. If you graduated high school just a mere two or three years ago and you already think it didn’t benefit you, how do you think you’ll appreciate your college years? Will you look back and think about all the opportunities you missed? Will you think about the times you watched Netflix when you could have been learning? Will you think about the times you locked yourself in room while studying instead of joining the outside world?
College is too beneficial and too expensive to look back and feel as though we didn’t accomplish anything during our times at our respective universities.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.