Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm


Does High School Prepare You for College?

default article imageThe four years spent in high school are meant to be a period of preparation for what is to come in college. However, in recent times, high school seems less and less like a time for preparation and more like a period of years used to occupy students until they are mature enough to enter college.

It is unfortunate that students no longer have to work hard to make it through high school. The best way to get good grades and strong recommendations is to know how to “play the game.” All it takes is for students to befriend the right teachers and get involved with enough pep-rallies to catch the eye of the principal as a well-rounded and highly school spirited student, and the rest is gravy.

The minds of students are not being challenged enough to the point where they are exposed to what collegiate academics are like. Instead of teaching their students the best way to take notes in a lecture, how to read and absorb a textbook, or even how to stay organized and manage their time well, high school teachers are spending time watching movies (sometimes instead of reading the books), excusing students from class so that they can help paint posters to advertise homecoming, and spoon feeding students everything they need to know for exams. In college, professors expect their students to follow their syllabus, come to class prepared with notes, have already read the material, and reach out on their own if they need help. Unlike high school, glancing over the material 10 minutes before class, hoping that enough information stuck in your mind for you to get your “gold star” for participation for the day does not work in college.

The worst aspect of high school academics is the students’ method of padding their grade point averages. Instead of taking challenging courses that could help expand the way they think, but might render a B on their transcript, some students would rather have that A+, even if it was in woodshop and they intend to be chemistry majors in college.

Not to excuse the low grades of some students, but the grading system no longer has the value it used to have. When teachers give their students A’s because of the one page extra credit assignment on a topic of the student’s choice, instead of the student receiving the B+ that they earned, the student will not feel a sense of urgency come the next marking period because they know that they can count on a few extra points being thrown their way before report card grades are due.

High school teachers need to enforce more structure and boundaries in their classrooms. Giving students an extra week to hand in their assignments and chasing after them until they do does not teach students anything except that mediocrity is acceptable and deadlines are not important. However, this idea could not be further from the truth in the vast world of college academics. College professors demand a certain level of responsibility and decorum from their students. While some high school teachers deem it acceptable to turn work in late, as long as their student hands in the extra credit assignment at the end of the marking period, college professors expect everything to be on time, and there are penalties to handing in a paper late, if the professor is willing to accept it at all.

In high school, more emphasis is placed on extracurricular activities than on academics. Some teachers are more impressed with the “C” student who is President of the art club than they are with the “B” student with college goals already in mind.

Apparently, a friendship with teachers, easy classes, and a padded GPA is the formula to students being prepared enough for college. However, once a student enters college, he or she will realize that the phony A’s, clubs joined only for show, and friendships with all of those teachers has contributed nothing to his or her collegiate career, leaving the student feeling overwhelmed and lost.

College does not endorse extra credit for those who barely made it through the semester, projects to pad your grade, deadlines extended weeks after the assignment was due, and opportunities to turn in the same paper repeatedly until the grade finally changes from a C- to an A+.

College is a reality check, and it is a sad reality that some students are entering college not knowing anything about how to stay organized, how to use a day planner, or even how to manage time efficiently, but rather can recite from start to finish every pep rally and homecoming game they ever attended.

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151