The Parallels Between High School and College

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Leaving high school can be stressful. A lot of us split ways with friends who we’ve had for years, some move away from home for the first time, and some move across the country. It begins to feel like everything is changing and maybe not for the better. But don’t worry, as “Bowling for Soup” once said, “High school never ends.”

College is eerily similar to high school. It’s something my friends and I wish we knew before we started. College isn’t the total shift in every way imaginable like many movies and books make it seem. Besides your living situation, it is mostly the same as what you’ve already done before.

For starters, class is still too early. Even though you can choose your schedule, some classes may only be offered early in the morning — 8:30 a.m. classes still exist, and they’re no fun. Similar to high school, if your experience was anything like mine, there will be nowhere to park. When you find a parking spot, it seems like it’s never near the class you want. You get to exercise and walk all over campus. Don’t forget to pay more than $200 for a parking pass even though you’ll end up in a pay lot from time to time when permit lots are full. Additionally, all of the professors will manage to give you work at the exact same time.

There are some positives. The University of Utah obviously has an open campus which you are free to leave whenever you want, much like high school was during lunch or if you had a free period. Comparable to high school, you are able to construct your own schedule and figure out how you want to tackle the semester. Teachers are basically the same, though they now have the fancy title of “professor.” Despite this new title, they mostly still care about their students. They will help you if you are brave enough to ask for it. They want you to succeed.

Additionally, there are still going to be awesome students who you’ll become friends with who can help you in class. If you need notes, homework help or anything else, they’ve got you. Love and cherish these people while you can. Chances are, next semester they will be gone, especially as you work through your generals. Then, there are the students who aren’t so awesome: teachers’ pets. Unfortunately, some people don’t outgrow this infamous role. It’s good to be an active student and get on the professor’s good side, but you don’t want to take it too far and be a suck-up. I doubt very many of your peers will offer you notes or help if you’re the teacher’s right hand.

So, to those incoming U students, hopefully this will help you feel more comfortable beginning this new journey in your life — one that will feel similar to your past journey.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

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