Everyone gets excited, maybe a little scared when transitioning from high school to university/college. It’s a chance to go to new places, make new friends, and start fresh. As the last semester of high school approaches, students are eager to leave the place they consider to be junk. Only after some time in university will they start missing this junk. Like the famous quote goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.
Here are some of the many things I miss about high school.
This is a shocker and you may be rolling your eyes at me right now, but yes, trust me – you will miss them. In high school, you get to know your teachers on a personal level. You could talk to them about things outside of school. You could joke and fool around with them. That doesn’t happen in university. Unless you are continuously going to office hours and bugging your professor, chances are they won’t even know your name. I miss the connection I could establish with the person who was teaching me.
2. Knowing everyone
Whether you go to college or university, you will not be able to get to know everyone like you did in high school. You probably won’t even know everyone in any class (unless it’s a really tiny class). In high school, everyone knew all the gossip, who is related to who, who hates who, who has a crush on who. College and university have such a large population you’ll be lucky if you see someone from class and recognize their face.
3. One building
I remember complaining when I had two classes that were across the school. Now I have two classes back to back that are across campus. And if that’s not enough, there is usually a thick sheet of either snow, slush, or black ice that I must run through. None of my classes are in the same building, so most of the time, especially when it’s cold, I have 50 layers of clothes on.
4. Easy seating and desks
Classes try to squish as many students possible in the tiniest space. Getting to a seat in the middle of a row not only causes you difficulties but annoys everyone else in that row. On top of that, your desk space is very little. Remember in high school how we could just have a binder, textbooks, pencil case, bottle and maybe even a lunch sprawled on our desk? Now, all that goes on the desk is your notebook. Coffee goes on the ground, pencil case, binder, textbook in your bag. Some seats are so awkward they give me a backache. They can’t possibly be ergonomical!
Of course with new courses you’ll find new friends, but that doesn’t mean they’ll replace the old ones. The ones that you’ve quite possibly known for many years since kindergarten. In high school, you would always see them. Every single day. If not in class, then at lunch. Now that everyone has their own schedule, even meeting up is hard.
6. Teachers chasing you to do work
University is a lot more independent than high school. A lot of motivation is required to stay on top of all your assignments. The thing that starts happening is you procrastinate or focus on what is immediately due. This makes you put off everything else. Then you end up doing every assignment the night before. In high school, the deadlines and step by step possesses that teachers made us do made us do the work. The teachers, in a sense, had your back.
7. The class clown
Most of your classes will be structured in a way where the professor will be talking most of the time. Occasionally they will ask you for answers or opinions. But unlike high school, there will be no one person that you could always count on to make class less boring. In university, however, during the time your gaze flutters away from the professor, you are guaranteed to find something that makes you smile.
Every day, there was the same set time for school. The regular being 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. In university or college, you may get course packed days and you might get days off. Everyday is going to be different. You might have a class that starts as early as 8:00 am or ends as late as 10:00 pm. Some classes are 1 hour, some 2 hours, and you might even get lucky with a 3 hour lecture. That predictable high school schedule gave you order to your life.
9. Your own bed
Whether you live in residence or commute, your one true love, your bed is often a long day of classes away. Commuting takes a long time–about for the average student 45 – 90 mins–and the bus is not somewhere you can easily sleep. Those who live on residence often must wait a week or more just to get home and be in the comfort of their own bed. Let’s just admit it: your own bed is irreplaceable.
10. Going to the bathroom comfortably
In high school, there were always times of independent study in class where you could take your sweet time in the loo. You did not have to carry all your stuff in the bathroom for fear of theft. In university, going to the bathroom itself is a hassle. Sometimes you can hold it in for long enough cause you’re just too lazy to take off 50 layers of winter clothing. But other times, it is an absolute emergency.
11. Raising your hand
In a class of 500 students who just want the lecture to finish early so they can go home, probably don’t appreciate you raising your hand. Heck, in a class of 500 people, do you want to ask a question? In high school, you knew everyone and felt comfortable doing that. Now, not so much.
12. Ease of access to extra help
Yes, there all these wonderful office hours, teaching assistants, other groups who are there to help you and make you understand the concepts. But the content that you get from the actual person who will be testing you is different. Since you do not know your professors personally as you did your teachers, that comfortable feeling is no longer there. And often, the professor’s offices hours do not match with your schedule and you must book an appointment with them in advance. I used to take teachers for granted. Now truly do I appreciate all the help they gave me through high school.
13. Small class size
This may be the biggest thing that truly makes you feel like you’re in university. The classes are enormous. It’s very hard to get courses which are under 100 students. And in these big classes, everyone is a stranger. I miss those small classes where you had interaction with others and got to learn in different ways.
You will most likely have multiple assignments going on simultaneously. Often you sacrifice sleep to finish these on time. There comes a point where you sleep for the minimum time you need just so you can drag your butt to university and understand the gibberish your professor speaks. And trust me, you will pull an all-nighter at least once, whether you’re in university or college. Haven’t had that 7 hour sleep in a while.
15. Less stress
For some reason, I think everyone knew they just wouldn’t fail high school. Like the teachers weren’t that mean. They always managed to somehow magically make you pass. At this point in your post-secondary career, you’re close to failing, don’t know what’s going on, don’t know where your life is going, and for the most part are just constantly stressing about the fact that you are stressing. Life in university is hectic.
This isn’t to say you will miss all of these things or that you will fall behind. Everyone is different and will have different experiences. Don’t let this drag you down. I have made it through this far, and I’m confident you will, too. Good luck.
Are there other things you miss about high school? Share them with us in the comments!