CULTURE: UNIVERSITY IS THE SAME AS HIGH SCHOOL
Tertiary and secondary education have similar goals, to prepare us for the next stage of our life. We are told time and time again that university is better than high school and very different.
I'm here to tell you that in the end, both institutions are two sides of the same coin.
As senior year rolls around, we are instructed to believe that everything gets better after high school. There are no more 9am-3pm days five days a week packed full of periods and scheduled lunch times and adult supervision and mandatory sport and welfare lectures and PSAs warning us the dangers of cyber bullying.
Nevertheless, there are still classes which you must attend, countless hours spent on trains and buses, grades you must achieve or else risk failing at life, not getting a career and becoming everything you feared ever since you were a little boy.
University changes what you thought failure was, and amplified your fears ten fold.
In primary school we want to get into a good high school.
In high school we want to get into a good university.
In university, we want to get into a career, or at the least, a job.
In our careers, we wait for the day we can retire, stop working, and for once in our lives, not worry about what comes next.
Until you die, you never stop learning - the ultimate blessing and a curse.
It's hard for us to believe that by the end of university, we may have spent at the minimum, sixteen years in school. If we take on a double degree, a masters, a P.h.D, or an honours year, we are extending the time we spend on schooling.
It is a common perception that the higher your level of education, the better you are against your peers.
A university student is perceived to be better than the high school dropout.
A double degree comes ahead of a single one.
If you worry about being better than everyone else, you'll never be better than the person you are now.
It's not all doom and gloom.
In university you will meet new kinds of people, personalities you hadn't encountered before, adapting to face these new encounters. You will not like many of them, but you might find a diamond in the rough, a new friend you were worried you would never find. You might even find a study partner.
You will develop relationships with your lecturers, gain better insight into your field of study, and find out what you really want to do and who you want to be.
Depending on your degree, you may have more hours in the day to do things you didn't have the time for. You might start a blog, get a part-time job, go out clubbing at night, or maybe you just want to watch Netflix.
YOU WILL NEVER STOP LEARNING, but that's okay.
In a lot of ways, university is the same as high school. But outside, in the real world, you have the choice to make this stage of your life count.