Now you might be thinking, I thought you were supposed to sell tell me about the university experience, why are you writing about high school? Well, I thought telling you the things I miss might be a fresh way to let you see some of the differences between high school and university; what I miss might be what you rejoice in leaving behind. That, and seeing all you uniformed young’uns on the train had me feeling nostalgic 🤫😔. So lets go:
1 School runs 9am-3pm every day. While its true that UoA averages about 3-4 hours of classes per day, sometimes more, sometimes less, that’s 4 hours (up to a maximum of 9 hours, though I doubt anyone hits 9 hours) of pure content delivery and learning. I’m not sure about you, but I certainly didn’t have 4 hours of non-stop learning each day in high school. On the plus side, I had classes that started at 1pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and 12pm on Friday so getting to sleep in is a huge plus 😉. Some of my friends last year even had entire days (or two!) off by packing their classes into three days. Oh, and attendance is optional strongly recommended.
2 Socialising in class. A huge difference between university classes and high school classes is that you don’t talk during a lecture (some people do it anyways though…guilty is charged), sure there’s usually some quick comments and giggles passed around but usually no full-blown conversations. In high school (much to the annoyance of my teachers) there was usually much more talking and mucking around with friends. I’m not painting a great picture of me in high school, but hey I paid attention when it mattered 😉. On the plus side, there’s usually some pretty big gaps between classes in university so you can use that time to hang out with friends either grabbing lunch, or studying together etc.
3 Difficulty of content. Looking back, I wouldn’t say that our high school material was easy, but I can say for sure that it is easier than university content. That being said, my overall enjoyment of my university courses, content wise, is higher than high school course (*cough, assessed PE, I’m looking at you).
4 Transport and accommodation. It had to be said. Technically, living in Carlaw means that the distance from Carlaw to university was shorter than the distance from my house to my high school, however it did come at a price, $282/week to be exact.
This leads onto…
5 Free education. Goodbye $300 p.a. school donations, hello $8000 p.a. student loans. Yeah, there’s really no positive spin to put on that…Bond with teachers. During high school, I was on pretty good terms with all my teachers. I’d be pretty darn chuffed if more than 3 lecturers from university say they recognise me (to put that into context, I’ve had about 20 different lecturers teach me so far). I guess this is great for some of the shy beans out there?
6 Ease of joining and attending clubs. Morning tea meetings, lunchtime activities, after-school trips. Club/extra-curricular activities in high school were so easy to attend and commit to, everyone had classes that finished at the same time, so meetings were regular and consistent. At university, the latest classes finish at 6pm so club activities are usually either after 6 pm or on the weekends, juggling that with assignments and revision etc. is a real challenge. On the flip side, compared to high school, there are so many clubs at university, you’re bound to find one that suits you. Also, because there are so many people in university, the people who join niche sort of clubs tend to be much more passionate and involved.
7 Controversial, I know, but personally I’m a fan of the uniform, purely because it’s so much effort to decide what to wear 😬.
8 How most things aren’t assessed. In university, pretty much everything is assessed, exams, tests, assignments, tutorials, sometimes even participation in tutorials. In high school tests were rarely assessed (or at least they didn’t count towards NCEA) and we never had weekly quizzes. This leads onto
9 Mocks school exams, a double-edged sword I’ll admit. Looking back school exams were a great way to see if you were on track for your exams and there was always plenty of time to prepare for them, doubling as exam revision. In university there’s no time for mocks so its all or nothing with the exams (usually worth around 50%-60% of your course). If you’re someone who likes to cram, this might be a pro because you’d only have to cram once and not twice 😉.
And that’s 10! If you were to ask me whether I missed the simplicity of high school, my answer would be, “of course!”, if you were to ask me whether I’d go back to high school student, I’d give it a hard pass. Sure, there’s a learning cure that comes with university (lowkey reckon I’m still working my way through it), but it’s a sign that we’re moving forward, and moving forward is always a good thing! Also, there’s plenty of great things about university too, who knows, that might be the theme of an upcoming blog/vlog 🤔🤭.
Until next time!
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