Why high school students are ill prepared for University

By: Preety Kaur- Staff Writer

Going to university is like going to Target after years of going to Zellers. You’re going there for the same purpose but paying twice as much. The buildings also look the same from the outside but you can’t be sure what is waiting for you as you walk through the doors. What’s more, the products at Target are more advanced and harder to figure out how to work. So there you are, standing in the middle of the aisle thinking,  “what the heck is going on here?” Zellers did not prepare you for Target. Just as how high school did not prepare you enough for university.

David Burnham/ Brock press

David Burnham/ Brock press

High school gives you the basic knowledge you need to get to University, but it doesn’t provide you with the important skills to succeed when you get there. You have not been taught how to properly research, how to cite your sources the right way, how to get through your readings, or plan your agenda; instead, you have gone through four years of y=mx+b.

So now you’re in lecture, trying to jot down notes but the professor is going way to fast and you’re not sure how to keep up. Another thing that high school hasn’t prepped you for – university note-taking. For these reasons, and many more, I think high schools need to focus more on preparing their near high school grads for university

When I was in high school, I would have liked there to be classes that taught students what is expected of them in university. For example, I would have loved to learn material on how to find valid sources that you can actually use in your papers, and how to cite them. Instead, I was forced to teach myself in less than two weeks how to do all of that and more, while simultaneously trying to adjust to living on my own.

However, if you look in the right places you can find helpful resources provided by Brock to aid you. For example, the library is the best place to find answers. Thankfully, I eventually figured out that even though high school had not prepared me, university had my back. The online library quizzes really helped me to figure out the variety of options I had to correctly write my labs and essays. Furthermore, a presentation by Elizabeth Yates, during a community health science lecture, allowed me to have a better understanding on how to use the library.

Even with all this help at university, I still feel that students will do better if they know all this information from the get-go. If they knew the majority of what is expected of them, students would be more confident in knowing they will succeed in their classes and do better overall in university. They can also avoid losing marks for minor details that they never knew could cost them, and actually be able to burn bright throughout their university careers.

High schools almost expect students to miraculously figure out university all on their own, or expect someone to take care of the new first-years the second they get there. They never tell you little details like how missing a significant digit can get the whole question wrong. Or, what dimensional analysis even is and how important it is to know for chemistry.

High schools and universities need to better communicate with each other to allow first-year students to have a better transition. This way they’re not scared out of their minds and instead feel as if they have already been going through the right amount of preparation to be attending university. Drastic changes do not get you good grades and going from high school to university is one really drastic change.

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