Upon reflecting upon my high school experience there are many thoughts that come to mind. Some parts of those exponentially long years allow me to gain perspective on how I got to where I am today. However, I do not look too fondly on the past four years and question why I did not cherish the “good old days”. perhaps it simply has not been long enough since I was living them. There was always something about high school that made me want to turn into a fourteen-year-old math prodigy and just go to university early. The freedoms of University have been so close for so long, that to finally be here could be a surreal experience. Not to quote Hannah Montana, but “this is the life”.
To say that learning how to write essays was less torturing than repeatedly getting poked in the elbow by a four-year-old asking to share a half bent pipe cleaner craft would be an understatement. Trust me, I know what you’re saying; But Bethany, who doesn’t like learning the same thing four years in a row, by four different teachers, each telling you different things about how to do the same thing? Great question. I guess that just confused and annoyed me more than the average student. Can I just ask for a little bit of consistency for once? No? All well, I tried.
Learning how to research is a whole different story. In fact, I feel as though it was never taught. Researching in high school could be compared to the cat in Schrödinger’s box- is it there? Is it dead? Did it even happen? Did I even use that example correctly since my only experience in physics is from late night existential life chats from my mom? Of all the thing I do not know, there is something I know for sure: I am longing for the day where doing research becomes more than just clicking the second site that comes up on google (the first being Wikipedia which I would never admit to using).
I digress- I have come to learn that high school is a free ride for the “gifted” students, and less so for those of us that had to work our way up to our high grades. To those special few that can naturally pull through every class while still staying caught up on every single episode of The Bachelor- I wish you good luck in University. Good luck showing up to class having not read the sociology chapter ironically about the laziness of Millennials. Good luck attending a test worth 38% of your mark having spent the night before working up a sweat at the ping pong table downstairs. Would it be inconsiderate of me to want these gifted few to suffer in university having coasted through high school? Probably. But unfortunately for them, I’ve never really been one for being above a little pettiness now and again.
High school was always about the means to an end- getting marked and then comparing your marks with everyone around you. (Okay, maybe not the last part, but the beginning is irrefutable). Although university obviously is still school and comes in part largely with the evaluation comportment, the skills and applications taught here (in theory) will be ones that I will keep with me throughout my career (even if said career begins as a barista). Here I hope to learn not only the skills of essay writing, but the disciplines that I actually want to pursue. I would be lying if I said I did not have high expectations for my first year of University. I expect myself to come to an understanding of what I actually want to study. I expect myself to finally figure out if I actually like the person that I am and that I have become. (I would also like to figure out what I can actually do with a major in Philosophy because word on the street is that Socrates is no longer hiring). Perhaps this highlights the greatest difference between high school and university; it is actually time to start joining the real world.
Although my years in high school could be considered perhaps as the worst four years of my life, it would be unreasonable of me to not highlight some of the best moments that made me decide to come to University for arts. It was actually in my grade 12 English class where I completely turned around my perspective on essay writing. Before this class I absolutely hated reading, writing essays in proper MLA format and getting back a scribbled on rubric with a solid (but not my favourite) mark of 82%. But when October of 2015 came and I was handed back a comparative essay from the feminist perspective my interest in English suddenly sparked. Why you may ask? There was something about arguing that made me love essay writing. Something that made me want to sit there in my dark living room and plan a heated debate of how right I was in my argument, by simply typing out how Hamlet clearly uses similes and metaphors to demonstrate his complete loss of any sanity he once had. I just craved the idea of creating an essay that I was actually proud of. It was as if it had taken until grade 12 to finally see that I, much to my scientifically- inclined- sister’s confusion, really loved writing essays. With this in mind, I would have to say that I am most looking forward to building upon my essay writing skills at the university level. Being in the minority of people that enjoy philosophy (a.k.a. 18-year-old female in the 21st Century), critical thinking is genuinely something that I could literally do all day. That, and watch Grey’s Anatomy (spoiler alert: the show goes down hill after Derek dies). I am specifically looking forward to writing the rhetorical essay as I am interested in learning how it is expected to be done at this level.
Clearly being out of high school has been something I have been looking forward to for a long time. I can only hope that my excitement for University continues past the introduction to the concept of having easy access to chocolate milk any time I want it.