High School vs. College: The SmackDown

8 Mar

The Albany Academy for Girls (My High School!)

It’s time for a much anticipated blog entry (and by anticipated I mean I’m the only one who is really excited for it). The similarities and differences between college life and that of the high school life. I know that I can not truly give an accurate depiction of the two as I attended a private high school that is very similar to Union, but I will give it my best shot.

Five Similarities:
1. The Amount of Work. Surprisingly my workload from high school has transferred over to my work load here at Union. In fact I can almost say that I actually have less work to do here than I did in high school. The level of difficulty is about the same, but keep in mind that my senior year I was taking three A.P. courses.

2. The Teachers. Believe it or not the teachers are actually very similar to the teachers I had in high school. They are super willing to help with any issues you might be experiencing, they are often times very creative and open-minded, and they allow you to express yourself in your own way. They will always make time for you and keep office hours a few days a week in case you need to stop by for clarification.

3. The Activities. Many of the activities offered on campus are the same or have the same underlying goal as the activities that were offered at my high school. For example: On campus there is a Habitat for Humanity club, just as my high school had a Habitat for Humanity club where we went to build sites in and around Albany to build houses on the weekends. Many clubs and organizations here at Union College have the same motives as those clubs in high school.

4. The Participation. At my high school everyone was very involved in class discussion and in discussion of the school’s values and maintenance. Here at Union, I’ve found this to be pretty much the same. The whole campus is involved in events the campus puts on, students actively participate in class, and members of the student council work to perfect campus life.

5. The Gossip. This has definitely not changed since leaving high school. The only thing that has changed are the names of the people being discussed. I hate to say it, but coming from a small private school to a small private college the gossip has stayed at a pretty consistent level. Everyday I am bombarded with stories about you know who doing you know what with she/he who shall not be named. The stories are the same with minor twists as their is more freedom on a college campus. This was something I had hoped to put behind me, but gossip always has a way of following you around.

Five Differences:
1. The Food. This is something that is very, very different from my high school based on the element of nutrition. My high school served the most delicious health food complete with a salad and sandwich bar. At Union, and I am sure many other colleges, the food is delicious but less than healthy. You really have to reach deep inside yourself in order to make wise food choices. Although healthy food is an option, it seems that it is slowly being forgotten for the fried and greasy.

2. The Freedom. I won’t lie. College life is pretty sweet. There is an abundance of freedom that I never knew existed. You can do what you like, be who you want, and get to live on your own for once. It is incredibly liberating to answer to yourself, while at the same time daunting. It can be frightening in the beginning to find that you hold all the power in your hands, that it is you who fully makes decisions about yourself. You no longer have mom and dad dictating every move you make. It is a powerful thing, but just remember to be smart and don’t let the power get to your head.

3. The Weekends. My weekends are about as different as can be since arriving on campus. In high school I used to work Friday and Saturday nights and then spend the rest of my weekend either hanging out with friends or relaxing at home. The weekends have completely changed for me. Now there are so many more things to do, so many more places to go. It is possible to go see movies, go out to eat, go to frats, see the different shows the campus is putting on, attend concerts and comedians, volunteer, etc. The list goes on and end. I find that my weekends are taken up by dancing the night away, going to on campus movies, doing some work here and there, and attending different sporting events. Everything I could ever want to do on the weekend is at my fingertips.

4. The Dating Scene. I’m just going to go ahead and say it. What dating scene? I have yet to hear about this proposed dating scene on campus. I have scene a few couples get together in blissful harmony, but that is very rare. In high school I was known as the girl who, for the most part, was always dating someone. Arriving at college was an eye opening change for me as I realized the concept of dating someone doesn’t really exist here. At least not for underclassmen. I think this might be the same on most college campus’.

5. The Grades. There are so many more distractions on campus then there ever were in high school. I find that it is sometimes impossible to sit, quietly studying in your room or even in the library without a distraction somehow appearing. It gets tougher to make the grades you want in college as you are constantly doing this, that, and the other thing every waking moment. Going to class can also be an issue as you no longer have a parent there to push you out of bed and out the door. Making stellar grades can be a really tricky process, one that you have to constantly be on top of in order to make it through a trimester successfully.


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