Does high school really prepare you for college?

A simple middle school classroom
Source: Pinterest

For many, there is nothing new about school and it’s just another one of life’s motions. As a student in my last year of high school, it definitely feels like that.

Throughout high school, I have also noticed a lack of preparation for college and for the future. While I’m not just talking about my school’s college counseling program, it does feel like I haven’t gotten as much as I need out of it.

The issue I’m really faced with is deciding my major, and possibly the future of my life. I’ve been told throughout my high school career that deciding what I’m interested in is something I’ll “figure out later on” and I “don’t need to worry about that right now.” I’m now a senior in high school and I really wish I had worried back then.

Right now I’m applying to colleges, filling out my transcript, and taking the last courses of high school. Each of these decisions comes with a crystal clear hindsight. What colleges have the best programs for what I like? What clubs will look good to colleges that relate to my interests? What classes matter the most this year for going into college?

A high school classroom, not too much different from a middle school’s class.
Source: Pinterest

I wish I was faced with these questions at the start of high school, and maybe that’s partly my fault. But not every student is to be expected to pursue these decisions right off the bat. There needs to be some kind of push, and I feel like I didn’t get that.

When thinking about my perspective, I realized the possibility of my view being unpopular because I attend a private, Catholic school. I reached out to an alumnus of Glenelg High School and here was his side of the argument from the perspective of a public high school student.

He said that while his school had a good focus on promoting clubs and activities, they left their students in the dust when it came to sorting out their colleges. The students were left to find colleges, fill out the common application, and apply all on their own while their counselors simply pressured them to do it.

This sounds like an even worse situation than I’m in and I realize that I might be taking some things for granted. This is even more of a reason to call for change in our high schools, because the reality is, we are the future. There are things we need to know so we can make that future bright.

I used to think I wanted to do biology, then I thought about psychology, but now I’m stuck wishing I had taken computer science classes because I’m just now realizing this is interesting to me.

There are so many things that we as high school students can do in our lives, and college is the best starting point for them. We simply do not have enough time to think about all of these things in the last two years of high school. And by the time we’re at the end of high school and we’ve finally figured out what we might want to do in college and beyond, our classes have already been taken and we have already built up an entire resume. In my case, I took the wrong path in high school for what I want to do in college, but how could I have known?

A much different looking classroom, which is the most common image of what a college class looks like.
Source: EdSource

I’m trying to tell the colleges I’m applying to that I want to pursue computer science, when I haven’t even taken a basic coding class! It is a frustrating reality that I have to deal with. And if I ever become a parent, I would make sure my kid would know what’s out there.

That brings me to another thing that may have worked against me. Growing up my access to the internet was zero, while today, most of my time is spent in front of a screen. I see children of all ages on their iPads and learning coding in school or from their family members. I am being taught by the freshmen about how to code a video game. Where was this for me when I was that age? Did I go to the wrong elementary or middle school?

There indeed comes a point where there is nothing else the education system can do to give students opportunities. There also can’t be so much time and effort put into large programs that might not even become of interest to the students.

That is why I’m suggesting a small piece of a few subjects, ‘a little bit of everything’ if you will. Maybe the Career Day that St. Joe holds should be expanded to the underclassmen, with speakers talking specifically about what classes students should take for potential careers. I truly feel like I’ve missed out on a lot simply because I didn’t know it was there.

For the sake of the world’s future and a better educated society, make academic opportunities more readily available and clear to the underclassmen. High school is supposed to be a clear and sturdy bridge to college success, but it feels like an old and bumpy path.

Continued on page 2.

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