Unprepared for College

High schools today fail to prepare students for college; instead, they prepare students to get into college. 


photo by Hannah Ledrick

Hannah Ledrick, Staff Writer

Does high school prepare us for the real world?

When we are young, we crave to be older, until we find out what all “older” entails. Kids in middle school are so excited to finally be free — to just get to high school already — that they don’t pay attention to what they have. Our little minds had no idea what we were really wishing for.

Had I known then what I know now, I would have wished to stay that age for as long as I could. All we thought about was driving cars and going to high school dances. We had no knowledge of the endless hours of stress and homework that would come with these newfound freedoms. 

Even with new freedom, I don’t think high school is worth the hype. Honestly, I don’t think it’s anything special at all. I could probably think of a few important lessons I have learned here, but not many that will serve me well in the future. 

High schools today do not prepare students for college; instead, they prepare students to get into college. There is so much pressure put on students to excel in high school so that they can choose any school they want. High school classes are rigorous, and students feel pressured to take as many honors and AP classes as possible. Students load up on difficult classes and pass on classes that they might actually be interested in. 

College entrance tests are a case in point.  High schools put so much emphasis on tests like the SAT and ACT, but many students are not great test-takers. Those tests will help us get into college but now how to excel once we’re there. 

While NASH offers electives like “The Real World” and “Personal Finance,” they are not mandatory. One does not have to take classes that will provide us with knowledge of how to live in the real world. Close to half of the students here are legally considered adults, but many of us have no idea what that really means. 

Though we will soon graduate, we lack wisdom and real-world experience. We lack common sense and knowledge beyond our teenage bubbles. On top of this, many students are going into college without ever having a job. Once in college, a lot of students will need or desire to get a job in order to assist with student loans. A challenge presents itself here because they will struggle in balancing time between school and a job. This is also the reason many high schoolers claim they don’t have a job because they have extra curriculars, homework, studying and more on their plate, they can’t possibly fit in a job too.

Too many students are graduating high school without a clear path to success in college. There are too many college students who graduate high school without having ever taken any sort of college readiness course. Instead, they take harder classes they might never use again after high school. 

I see two drastically different students, neither one prepared when they graduate from high school for college. Before college, many students have 12 years of grade school with parents helping with schedules and time management. When a student leaves that behind and moves on to college, that structure disappears. College is a rigorous academic process, and proper preparation makes all the difference between success and an uncompleted degree.