High school experience is sufficient for college

December 7, 2017 — by Jeffrey Xu

Lately, many critics —  as well as students themselves — have been saying that the U.S. high school system does not adequately prepare graduates for college.

Lately, many critics —  as well as students themselves — have been saying that the U.S. high school system does not adequately prepare graduates for college.

For example, PBS News Hour recently published an article detailing how academically limited the U.S. high school curriculum is and saying that far too many students are enrolled in remedial courses.

Many also argue that high school leaves teens unprepared for the work world.

Do these criticisms have merit?

For the most part, they don’t because most schools are giving students multiple opportunities to succeed with all the key life skills for future success in college and beyond. These skills include time management and the ability to maintain peer and teacher connections.

Let’s start with time management. As classes become more and more challenging and students become involved in many extracurriculars, high school life forces students to manage their time and not fall behind.

This skill becomes vital in college, a time when students are away from their parents and must learn to budget their time, lead healthy lifestyles and maintain friendships.

Another skill that students gain from attending high school  is building peer relationships. In an environment with hundreds of peers, students develop social skills necessary to start and maintain good friendships. This becomes useful in college, where students are often thrown into a completely different environment with little to no friends.

On top of helping students develop friendship skills, with the many group projects assigned in high school, students learn to collaborate with one another. This is a necessity in college classrooms, where group work will continue to be assigned, and in research laboratories, where breakthroughs can only be achieved through good communication between fellow labmates.

Furthermore, high school requires students to build better relationships with their teachers. Students learn to communicate with teachers — a skill that is necessary for students planning to stand out to professors in classes of hundreds or more.

Some may argue that academically, the high school curricula are not rigorous enough to prepare students for their college freshman courses, but this knowledge gap can be easily mended using the soft skills built by high schools. Moreover, high schools across the U.S. offer a variety of AP courses, which are already college level and count for college credit.

Even with the possibility of minor knowledge gaps, through the implementation of the skills nurtured in high school — time management, social skills and communication with faculty — a student can be truly prepared for college.

So instead of ranting about how narrow the high school curriculum seems to be, students should put in the effort to gain the true skills that high school is meant to teach.


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