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A Teen's View

College life vs. high school

Danielle Ryan

(2/2012) As I look back at my first semester of college I canít help but notice how many differences there are between my high school experience and my college experience so far. In some ways college seems easier than high school was, but in other ways it is much more difficult and demanding. I have also noticed that as much as I liked high school, I have found myself loving college life, and the independence that comes with it.

Not only is independence an aspect that I really enjoy, but my daily schedule is also great. My schedule is not so constricted and demanding as it was in high school, meaning that I donít have an eight to three class schedule to abide by each day. Instead my classes are spread out in a way that allows me to have a small break in-between each class, and I donít have all my classes each day of the week. The small breaks allow me to do homework, study and even catch up with some friends which is really nice.

Of course with this schedule there are some responsibilities that I didnít have to worry with when I was in high school. I definitely have to be more conscious of my time, and not waste it. Even though I have more time to do what I please, I know that I have to use this time wisely instead of letting it go by without having accomplished anything. In a way this is challenging because I may only have two classes on one particular day, and then the rest of the time I am able to do whatever I want. Itís a matter of telling myself that there are certain things that I need to get accomplished before I am able to relax. Since there are so many distractions with technology these day, college life has a higher sense of personal discipline that needs to be followed. Should I spend three hours catching up on the latest episode of my favorite television series, or should I spend it reading the next two chapters of biology? I have to face decisions similar to this every day, and sometimes I really have to fight against doing something other than my work.

Another real difference is winter break. In high school, winter break was only about a week long, just long enough for Christmas and New Years. However in college I had almost an entire month off for winter break. No homework was assigned, there were no papers to write and there were no exams to study for. In high school there was always work over winter break, sometimes so much work that it seemed as if my break wasnít much of a break at all. Either I had a project to finish or a test to prepare for, or even some written assignments that needed to be completed. This was largely due to the fact that in high school, midterm exams were not given until after winter break, so there were always assignments that needed to be completed before the semester ended. In college, the semester ended before winter break so a new semester could start back up after the time off. This of course allowed my brain to have a much needed break, and trust me my brain was thanking me for this after finals week was over.

As far as classes stand in college, I find myself enjoying my individual classes much better. Something that I have noticed is that college students seem to be more interested in their studies than some of my classmates were in high school. Of course there are still some people that are not focused on their studies, but the majority of people take a genuine interest in what they are learning. I find this to be really relieving. In high school I found myself becoming annoyed with some of my peers when they said that they didnít care if they failed a test or missed several assignments. I kept wondering why they even bothered coming to school if they werenít going to give it their whole heart. As several weeks of college classes went by though I found the answer to this question. High school is a level of education that parents want their children to complete, so they send their kids to school every day. This of course means that they are paying for this education in some way and expect their kids to attend school and work toward graduation. Most kids donít have a say in whether or not they will be attending school, they are told by their parents that they will, so they do. After high school is completed, kids have a choice as to whether or not they want to further their education. Now parents may encourage or otherwise try to convince their children that they need to go to college, but ultimately the decision is up to the individual making the choice. A college education is usually paid by the student, which further encourages the student to want to succeed because they see college as their financial undertaking. College is also a time when students are trying to study their major of preference. This also allows students to strive toward success because they are learning about a subject matter that interests them personally.

Over all, I was ready for college life. The independence, the responsibility, and the love of learning. I know every semester and every year will be different, but Iím ready.

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