Same fish, bigger pond

Does college really offer any change for students from high school?

As former high school students, many college students could probably say that the transition to a world on their own was one they looked forward to eagerly.

To most, college offers a fresh start full of freedom, good times, and a world where someone can be whoever he or she wants. It’s a chance to start with a fresh group of friends and new relationships. No one knows each other, and essentially, no one can tell anyone else what to do.

“College is different than high school in so many ways. In high school the teachers made sure you did your work. In college professors could care less if you come to class, let alone if you do your homework,” said Katie Van Dam, a senior in the elementary education program.

Van Dam cited another difference as well. “In high school, you live with your parents and they pretty much make sure you do your things when they need to be done. In college, you are responsible for yourself and all of your actions,” she said.

One major point of interest for many is the parental freedom, as welding engineering technology freshman Jake Medendorp pointed out.

“College is a lot different. You can party seven or eight days a week if you want, depending on how impaired your counting gets, and your mom’s not around to wake you up in the morning for class. That would’ve never happened back in high school,” said Medendorp.

But while some things are definite changes, are others more similar to high school than students care to admit?

“You still have to manage your time. And you get to be involved in groups on campus like in high school,” said Stacy Grysen, a freshman in the pre-pharmacy program.

Other factors that differ include relationships, social life, and daily interactions.

“In college there aren’t really cliques that I’ve seen. Everybody seems to get along with everyone else,” said Heather Lemmen, a freshman in the criminal justice program.

And one can’t forget that the party scene isn’t usually just a college thing.

“I partied just as hard in high school as I do in college. The parties are more fun here though,” said pre-pharmacy freshman Sallie Dunn.

But along with the fun that follows from our high school years to college endeavors, does the drama of high school find its way to campus as well?

“There is drama no matter where you go. There is drama in high school, in college, and in the work place. The drama in high school was over a lot of small things, but in college the drama is a little more intense,” said Van Dam.

Others have decided that one of the best things about college is that despite tension amongst friends and residents, avoiding it is much more manageable.

“There’s no contest. High school wins for drama. In college you can just go in your room and lock your door, unless the drama’s with your roommate. In that case, you better have friends with a futon or a couch,” said Medendorp.

Despite a few reminders of the immature years of high school, many students make the transition to college smoothly, and find that once they compare it to high school, it’s a far better experience for multiple reasons.

“I thought high school was a waste of time. We didn’t do anything important. My teachers sucked,” said Dunn.

“I love college. I like being away from my family, but close enough to visit if I need to. The freedom and responsibility is just perfect for where I am in my life,” said Van Dam.

Still others like Medendorp know it never hurts to take time to appreciate what high school had to offer, or who it had to offer.

“College is by far the best. There are a lot more good looking girls…it’s a bonus when the hotties from high school end up at the same college, too,” said Medendorp. n