4 Things That Mattered in High School But Don’t in College

Remember when you gave a crap?
September 14, 2017
8 mins read

High school and college are unquestionably different stations in life. One takes place when you’re legally a minor and costs less, while the other gives you a glimpse of adulthood. While in this introductory phase of adulthood, you soon learn that part of growing up is realizing that worrying about everything is pointless. As time goes by, you care less and less, and after four years in high school, you quit caring about the following.

  1. Popularity

I’ve said this before, and I’ll repeat it: Caring about popularity in high school is stupid, but caring about your status in college is even dumber. You have a low chance of standing out on a college campus with hundreds, if not thousands of people. I challenge you to remember the names of every person in just one of your classes. Couldn’t do it? Didn’t think so, which proves my point. If you can’t remember everyone’s name, how can you expect everyone to know yours? You can’t, and you’ll live.

As long as you find your squad, you’re good. Once you graduate high school, you realize just how short four years is and that you won’t always be a student, which means the jocks and cheerleaders go away. In addition to being a petty concern, no employer cares about how well-liked you were in school; they care about your grades and relevant experience.

Oh, and a side question: Aren’t the popular kids usually self-obsessed d-bags?

  1. Being on Time

If you’re a few minutes late to class, it’s no big deal, especially when you can sign the attendance sheet halfway through the lecture. One time my professor reminded a student to sign the attendance sheet after showing up more than fashionably late to his class, which shows that teachers don’t mind your tardiness. After all, how could they punish a student for something they do too?

I’m a junior in college now, and I’ve had profs arrive a minute before the period started, a few minutes after, and one who came to class an average of fifteen minutes late per day. In college, punctuality may be helpful, but it’s not always required, not even of the people who work there. Where I go to school, you’re allowed to skip three classes before your absences start affecting your grades, so not only is it okay to be late to class, skipping class altogether may not be a bad idea.

  1. Grades (To an Extent)

We’ve all heard the phrase B’s/C’s/D’s get degrees. Granted, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get higher scores, but a low grade isn’t the end of the world, especially if it’s a gen-ed class that has nothing to do with your major. Your cumulative GPA is the combined score of every semester, which gives you plenty of time to earn your desired average. Also, there’s the option of dropping or withdrawing the class, which allows you to either worry about your grades later, or not care about them at all. Back in high school, people cared about grades because they would determine what colleges would accept them–now they’re in college. Of course, as the year progresses, university students begin slacking in other areas too.

  1. Image

College life is too short and expensive to be hung up about your appearance. People are gaining the freshman fifteen, looking exhausted in their 8 a.m. lectures and likely the rest of the day. Seeing people walk around in sweatpants or with a makeup-less face is a daily occurrence in college, so no one cares if you do it too. Plus, the students who do mind most likely suck as human beings. In addition to sucking, people who judge your wardrobe don’t see the big picture.

I want to take a moment to address the people who believe that students should dress nicely for classes. Let me ask you this: If I am going into debt for attending this university, don’t you think I’m going to wear whatever I want, whether it’s my most majestic maxi dress or pajama pants and a graphic tee? If your answer is yes, then congratulations you have common sense.

The lectures weren’t cheap, and if I want to attend them in my least flattering yoga pants and One Punch Man shirt, then god diddly dammit, I will, and there’s not a thing anyone can do to stop me!

  1. Awards

You quit caring about awards in college for obvious reasons, the most obvious one being that college doesn’t give them out as frequently as high school does. For example, if you get the highest GPA in class, that’s great, but you don’t get an accolade for it. Also, there’s no perfect attendance award (see point #2), and you can’t earn titles like homecoming or prom king and queen; plus, even if you could, the title doesn’t mean as much in college. To be fair, it’s unimportant in high school too; after all, being voted homecoming king or queen isn’t the strongest resume point. Once you graduate high school, you begin not to care much about the awards you won then either.

The summer before my sophomore year of college, I visited a friend from high school who won many awards, such as the highest GPA in drama, a few scholarships and even a rising star award. While we were in her room, she said that she wanted to clean the place up and get rid of stuff “that didn’t mean anything” to her, which included the awards on her wall. See? Even people who win awards stop caring about them.

As you go through life, you either care less or just care about different issues. Once you graduate high school, you quit caring about being on top of the social scene, perfect attendance, how you look and start getting more relaxed about your grades; it’s all part of adulting, whatever that is.

Danielle Keating, Concordia University

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Danielle Keating

Concordia University

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