High School vs. College
College Life | 

High School vs. College

It's a whole new ballgame, people.

Throughout high school, my teachers would always tell us they were "preparing us for college." And whenever my parents refused to help me with a problem--admittedly, one I was perfectly capable of fixing myself--they would say they were "making me independant for college life." But once I actually stepped foot on campus, it was pretty obvious: Nothing that I learned in my high school days could be applied to my new life.

College is, without a doubt, a whole new ballgame.

First off, in college there is no such thing as "popularity" like there was in high school. There isn't a table during lunch where all the popular kids sit. There aren't dances that you need a date for or games where all the "cool" students sit in one section. No one cares about how you dress, because everyone looks like a slob all the time. Friends aren't made by wearing the latest trends or by sitting at a certain table at lunch. In college, you make friends by being kind and considerate. Seriously. College is stressful enough on its own; and no one has the time or the desire to hang out with negative or snobby individuals. So don't be one. In college, the people with a lot of friends are the ones who are genuinely nice to others.

In high school, I would always try to skip class. By the end of each year, my absences would be maxed out and I literally couldn't miss another day. But in college, attendance usually doesn't matter. Many professors don't even take attendance. But the thing is, in college, every class actually does matter. Admit it, there would be days you went to class in high school and probably walked out of there not having learned anything. That does not happen in college--There may be a whole section on a test of information that was covered in just one day. And conveniently, that will probably be the day you decided to take a nap instead of attend class. Before I left for my second semester of college, my dad calculated how much each class was worth: If I skipped class to take a nap, that nap would cost me $70 dollars. I haven't skipped a class since.

Another college trend: Effort is attractive. Studying hard and using your resources is not looked down upon in college, whereas in high school, my peers would always pressure me into doing something fun, rather than studying for a test. But in college, every student is paying thousands of dollars just to learn, so most take it more seriously. In college, effort is noticed, appreciated, and highly respected among college students.

Something I always disliked about high school was that I felt like I had to look, act, or talk a certain way to be accepted. And when I look back on it, that way of thinking kept me from doing a lot of things that I would have really enjoyed or excelled at.

But being a college student gives you the freedom to break out, try new things, and embrace a different side of yourself. You may have been the cheerleader in high school, but you can be a sports writer in college. Or you may have been a band kid in your hometown, but in college you can embrace Greek life. There are no labels when you take your first steps on campus. You can create your own label--and your own college identity.

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The Types of People You Meet in Your College Dorm

There's every walk of life imaginable.

Ah, the first year dormitory. It's a cross between a zoo and a weird "millennials only" hotel. It's bizarre to be forced to live with people who have nothing in common with you, aside from the fact that you're scared shitless about the years to come.

Here's a little guide to some of the interesting creatures you'll come across in the dorms.

1. The "no parents, no rules" kid
We all know who I'm talking about here. Suddenly their 10 p.m. curfew is lifted; Mom and Dad don't drag them to church anymore; and they've tasted their first sip of alcohol. This one goes buck wild with their newfound freedom.

2. The "I have two roommates"
The ever awkward, "my roommate's boyfriend sleeps over EVERY NIGHT." How unfun this can be for the third-wheeling roomie. Chances are they've got some great noise canceling headphones.

3. The "OMG it's quiet hours"
Rare as it may be, some people do come to college to study and make the grades. These hallmates are particularly picky when it comes to following the RA's rules. Don't get on their badly side or they may tattle.

4. The "I'm joining every club" person
This breed flourishes in a college setting. Like to knit? Like comic books? Like to knit comic characters? No fear. There's a club for everything; and I guarantee this one will find 'em.

5. The "frequent visitor"
Chances are, somewhere among your incoming class of 10,000, someone hates their roommate (blasphemy, I know). Anyways, their BFF lives down the hall from you, so they keep a toothbrush and some spare pajamas in your dorm and stay in your hall more than their own.

6. The "homesick and heartbroken"
Thank God for unlimited minutes because these peeps would be SOL. These dorm mates may spend a great deal of time crying on the phone wishing they could "just go home". We all have our moments, but for some, it ain't easy missing mommy.

7. The "sucked into her sorority" girl
I have NOTHING against going Greek, don't get me wrong. Some people just go Greek so fast you forgot they ever lived with you. Their roommate is left alone to cry about the bid she never got and the roommate she barely ever had.

8. The "how the hell do I college?"
Perhaps the most populated breed of college student is the one who gets there and realizes that it's a whole new ball game. Like, what do you mean I have to do my own laundry and take myself to a doctor?! You're certainly not alone, sad college newbie! It gets easier with time.

9. The "crazy fish lady"
Weird, but the only pet you can get away with in a dorm are fish. In my opinion, fish are essentially decorative furniture. Someone in your hall REALLY misses their labradoodle and needs animal attention so bad that they overcompensate with fish.

10. The "smooth transitioner"
Hats off to you, smooth transitioners. These humans somehow make it look easy to get dumped into a new setting with new people and a new sense of freedom. Please write us a comprehensive tell all on how you were able to avoid the breakdowns and make The Dean's List.

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Watch Me Glow Up

What happens when you don't peak in high school.

Chances are, the super popular kids from your high school probably aren't doing much now. And that super shy, but seriously smart kid from your bio class freshman year is a total smokeshow and has a full ride to an Ivy League. It's the way it always goes.

And I'm also going to go ahead and take a guess that you yourself did not peak in high school. While it may have sucked at the time, you're one of the lucky ones. Here's why.

You see so many people who peaked early end up at community college in your hometown.
I'm not bashing community college here. What I am bashing is people who stick around because they're so scared to leave the small-time fame and popularity they had in high school behind.

They peaked so hard that they aren't really sure where their life will go from there. That's a pretty sad thing for an 18-year-old kid. Thank God you have plenty of peaking left to do, and can look forward to new places and new adventures without the fear that you've already experienced the best life has to offer you.

The people who were rude to you in high school want to be your best friend now.
It's a classic Cinderella story. (Wow, that was fucking cheesy.) Honestly though, high-school-wallflower-turns-successful-and-attractive-adult is a tale as old as time. Plus it always ends in "popular" kids from your high school either wanting to fuck you or be you. Too bad they didn't see how great you were then. You're on to bigger and better things.

You probably won't peak in college either.
This is just as much of a blessing as not peaking in high school is. If I have 75-plus years on this Earth I'm going to be super bummed if I hit my peak before I even turn 22. There is so much life to live after school--but you already knew that.

You're more successful than your peers.
If you didn't peak in high school it's probably because you were too busy focusing on other things. While you had your good group of friends, a thriving social life probably wasn't the top priority in your life. You were focused on grades or a passion turned side hustle and trust me, if that isn't benefiting you now, it's definitely going to.

You're more content wherever you are in your life.
You don't have any expectations for how much people will love you or how many friends you have. You're taking it day by day and enjoying everything life has to offer. It's not that your expectations are low, you've just learned from watching the people who peaked in high school that being popular and cool isn't necessarily a key to a solid life.

You have a lot to look forward to.
There is reward in not peaking too young. You get the chance to look forward to something exciting. You get the chance to live everyday knowing you're only getting better. It's all uphill from here.

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Calling All High School Seniors

Wait, you have to do work in college too?

I don't know if you've been told yet but the end is near, and by 'the end' I mean high school. It's time to face facts, there's more to the world than high school drama. Trust me, that bubble you've been living in is about to get violently popped. No worries though, I'm sure the air is a lot more suitable than that soapy consistency you've gotten used to.

First thing's first, college is nothing like high school. Not only are you taking classes there, but you're literally living at school. Welcome home! With that being said, it is a cultural shock. You will get homesick. There will be times when all you want is to do is be a kid again. As long as you embrace that fact now, you won't be as surprised when you get punched in the face with a ton of nostalgia.

Another difference is the size. Even if it's considered to be a small college, it's still a lot bigger than your average high school. With that added size comes the distance that a high school lacks. Which diminishes the ability for cliques to be as noticeable and as "clique-y." If you think that you're going to graduate as Regina George and be Regina George in college, you're horribly mistaken.

There are no teachers in college, there are only professors. What does that mean, you ask? It means that in college, the professors will get paid whether you pass or fail. This is where accountability comes in. You are fully responsible for your grades and everything else that you do. YOU have to make sure that papers are turned in. YOU have to make sure that you've studied. YOU have to make sure that you understand your class.

This is your future, therefore, it's your responsibility and it rests in your hands. Be careful. SHOW UP TO CLASS. I know it's tempting to stay in bed, because technically you have that choice, but trust me, that extra sleep is not worth it. Not when it comes to your GPA. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Like I said before, the professor gets paid regardless of your grade, so grow some balls and raise your hand. I guarantee that there's someone else who's asking themselves the very same question, so just go ahead and help a fellow student out.

Lastly, let's talk about parties. I know it can be really easy to turn up every weekend, and I know that the idea of partaking in things that you aren't legally allowed to partake in seems a lot more fascinating than sitting in a class preparing for a future that adds dollar signs to your bank account, but you have responsibilities. There's a strong possibility that if you party every weekend you're neglecting your responsibilities and will end up flunking out of college and living in your parents basement. It's okay to have fun, but remember that there's a fine balance between work and play.

So, just to reiterate, your freedom is in the palm of your hand. Neither your parents nor your teachers have shoved this choice down your throat. It's time to be an adult. Procrastination really does kill your GPA and your bank account (college tuition is hella expensive). Money is never easily accessible, so please don't spend it all on illegal substances.

Oh and one more thing, diversity is a real thing, not just something you see on television, so get ready for those who speak, look, and believe differently than you. All in all, college is an amazingly euphoric and self-assessing place, no need to worry about it! It's a big transition that we all have to go through.

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10 Benefits of Bringing Your High School Relationship to College

As if great sex isn't enough of a reason to stay with your SO.

You rarely hear your friends mention any benefits of staying in their high school relationship through college, but you always hear their worries and complaints. These complaints are valid and probably accurate at the time, but when you look at the big picture you see the true benefits of staying in your relationship.

You have a piece of home to hold onto.
College is exciting, but it can also be scary at the beginning. You're thrown into a new place with new people and you're all alone. In my case, I moved to a big city and went to a school with nobody from my high school. Staying in my relationship gave me something from home. It was comforting to have someone who knew everything about me that I knew I could completely trust.

You avoid being a thot.
A huge benefit that goes unnoticed. I watched some of my closest friends hook up with boys and do things when they were blackout that they really regretted. The amount of times I had to bring them clothes and pick them up at boys houses the morning after was incalculable. Sure, I did a lot of stupid things and got a few of injuries when I was drunk, but none of them included hooking up with a teammate's boyfriend, waking up next to a boy at a completely different school, or getting STDs (yikes).

You have time to do your work.
Not having your boyfriend or girlfriend at the same school makes it easier for you to get a lot more work done because you're able to focus on your schoolwork without having to deal with one of the biggest distractions ever. Seeing my friends study with their boyfriends or guys that they're talking to is cute and all, but they end up complaining about how they still have to work on that problem set or essay because their study session turned into a hookup session.

You become a hella good friend and wingman or woman.
Without constantly dealing with the drama of trying to find a boyfriend, I realized how much of a good friend I became. I had SO much time for my friends and was able to be there for them through a lot of tough shit. I became a dependable friend they could go to for advice and a great wing woman at bars or at parties, for both my guy and girl friends.

You won't get sick of each other.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Not breathing down each other's necks and allowing each other to grow and live apart is healthy. In fact, it was really good for my relationship. It just proved that we were happy to be with each other despite everything. I never got sick of him, instead I replaced that feeling with just missing him. I would rather miss him rather than be annoyed with him any day.

Cost efficient.
Another benefit that goes unnoticed. My boyfriend mentioned to me how much money on food he saved while we were away at college. He's a finance major and I really love food (lol), and to his disdain, I ended up draining his bank account pretty quickly. I didn't buy him random things as much as I did in the summer or when we were in high school because I didn't really think it was a priority anymore. What mattered more was me getting to see him in general.

New friends.
Not only do you have your new friends at your new school, but you also have his. Visiting and facetiming you SO gives you the opportunity to befriend and meet new people. One of my best guy friends has his girlfriend visit our school often and her and I have grown closer with each visit. When I visit my boyfriend's school, I meet new people and form new friendships too.

Avoiding the shitty college hookup scene.
I've watched my best friends cry over how shitty the boys are in college and how they feel like they can't find anyone. No guy wants to commit, despite wanting consistent hookups. I watch boys toy around with my friends and lead them on. People always ask me if I get bored or want to hook up with other people and I have to say I just don't see the appeal. Maybe I'm just weird.

The sex is always great.
I am completely comfortable with my SO and he knows what I like, which takes time and trust. Why burn through a bunch of people trying to find great sex when you already have it? Not only do I not trust any of the boys at my school, but colleges are also home to STDs and boys who don't know what they're doing in bed. I'll pass, thanks though.

You have an unwavering support system.
He's stuck by me through my awkward teenage years and already dealt with meeting my parents. He's calmed me down with my psycho rampages where I question everything I'm doing with my life or when I've questioned our relationship. He's been witness to all my successes and failures and always been there for me to lean on. His support is truly unrivaled and without it, I don't know where I would be.

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A Boarding School Student's Guide to College

It's quite the adjustment.

Going to boarding school is a unique high school experience, and you might have a bit of culture shock when it's time to go off to college. As a boarding school graduate myself, I'd like to offer a few tips to help you adjust. I know you're probably ready to go ham after years of restriction, but trust me, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Don't abuse your internet privileges.

Having internet all night used to be a dream, and an occasional dream come true when the server was down. Just because you can stream Netflix all night doesn't mean you should, especially if you have an 8 a.m. class. Sleep is important.

It will feel weird not having to sign a book to leave campus.

Yes, you can leave for the weekend and tell no one. If you are going out, make sure to tell your roommate, though. You don't want to worry them when you don't come back for the night.

Wearing sweatpants and jeans to class is perfectly normal.

Who knew? Uniforms and dress codes don't exist in college. As soon as graduation passes, go get rid of your high school wardrobe and replace it with your new uniform: leggings and sweatpants.

You have to relearn how to act around the opposite sex.

At a single sex school, there are just certain topics that are OK to talk about around absolutely anyone, including the person who just moved in down the hall. When you're back around mixed company, you have to figure out what is appropriate and what isn't...at least until you get to know each other better. Then, it's fair game.

Sports are no longer required.

You're going to have to find another way to get in your exercise if you don't plan on joining your school's teams. Gyms in college are bigger and usually offer more things to do than your high school gym. If you still want to keep up with sports, club or intramural sports offer a great alternative without the commitment.

Don't stretch yourself too thin.

In high school, you could balance five clubs, sports, and a full load of homework every night. You will need to plan your time wisely. There are no bells telling you where to go next. That isn't to say you can't join clubs but do so with caution. You still have an 18-credit course load and parties to go to.

Seniors, you've got a lot ahead of you. Honestly, you're going to miss your high school sometimes and that's OK. Just don't let it hold you back from experiencing new things. Now with this knowledge, go forth and conquer the college scene, graduates.