Letter to the Editor: From High School to College



Lacey Hellenbrand, Guest Reporter

Starting college, I believed I was prepared for whatever challenge would be thrown my way; after all, I was Salutatorian of my class. I know I’m smart and capable of handling anything, but
having been in college for a month now, I am realizing that high school left me unprepared for my future education. College is a completely different experience from high school—all responsibilities are put on you.

It’s shocking how little my high school experiences and skills have helped me. High school was always simple because it was full of constant reminders, nagging, and homework. You always got a second chance if you messed up. High school students are very dependent on their teachers’ redo policies and reminders. It doesn’t take much effort to pass if you do the minimum. I now understand that success and failure in high school is based on how well you can memorize information.

There are also many skills that were never taught to me, such as active reading, studying habits, and analyzing. College is much more academically complex than high school. Professors aren’t reminding you to do things.; you are responsible for getting your work completed and turned in on time. The schedule is more open, too. You have more time to yourself, making it easy for some to procrastinate.

I’ve found time management to be essential in college success. It’s important to balance studying, homework and grades with all the fun things you would much rather be doing.

Most of my college classes are structured differently as well; lectures are a completely new way of learning (at least for me). I’ve had to learn to take notes faster and study in way that will benefit me for exams. It’s not about memorization anymore. It’s about thinking critically and fully understanding a topic or concept to do well on exams.

My high school education was ineffective in my preparation for college. Academically, I’m figuring out what I need to do to be successful in college now. I found that talking with tutors was an extremely helpful way to determine how to study for exams. Knowledge comes with experience, and I would like to share my experience with other freshman and high schoolers to show
them that college isn’t easy, not even for someone that received A’s in high school. Students might think it will be easy, but you won’t succeed in college by memorizing or doing the bare minimum.

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