I know I write a lot of posts on university, but that’s only because I love my school so much. For anyone who doesn’t know, I go to Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. It’s located right on a river and the buildings are all old and pretty and it’s just a beautiful campus.
But that’s not why university is better than high school.
To be clear, I’ve only ever gone to Trent University and Loyalist College, so I can’t speak for all universities/ colleges and high schools, but from personal experience, high school was hell in comparison.
To begin, let’s look at the social dynamics from high school. There IS a popular crowd, and for the most part, they really do fucking suck. They are the kings and queens of exclusivity and insults. It’s terrible when you’re on the outside of a circle that looks so glamourous. Sure, I had a great group of friends in high school, but i was also relentlessly bullied. At first, I was bullied by boys who bluntly told me I was ugly or chubby or too tall. Then, once I kinda moved past puberty and started looking like a woman, I was ridiculed by girls who were jealous (and yes, I know for a fact they were actually jealous based on a few 2 a.m. drunken phone calls).
But a miracle happened the second we all graduated: they grew the hell up.
I’ve run into some of these “popular” people over the past year and a half and the most amazing thing happened. They treated me like a normal human being. I didn’t know it was possible.
I have this theory that once people graduate, they get a taste of the real world. They live away from home for the first time, they buy their own groceries and they do their own chores. For some people, this gives them a wake up call that allows them to realize, “Oh hey, maybe there are more important things in life than popularity”.
But the second reason why I love university so much more than high school is the professors. Unlike high school teachers, they care so much more about your individual experience and goals. They try to cater their program or class to better suit your talents. Each assignment is given a very rough outline, and you’re supposed to make it your own. (NOTE: this only applies to smaller universities and colleges. At UofT, you’re screwed in terms of profs remembering your name).
For example, in my Radio Studies class, I told my professor the very first day that I have no interest in studying the radio. He asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I told him that more than anything, I want to be an author of fiction novels.
He e-mailed me giving me suggestions to write a fiction piece for my second essay.
It’s the little things like this that make me appreciate my professors so much more than I ever appreciated my high school teachers. High school tests your memory, your nerves and your patience. University tests your ability to actually learn real ideas and make them your own. It’s more fun and you meet better people. It’s like having your eyes opened – really opened – for the first time in your life.
That being said, I still can’t wait to graduate! But only because I’m tired of school after having done it my entire life. i’m ready to travel and learn about things you can’t learn about in a classroom.