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Giselle Calderon Professor Vana DerOhanessian English 114A 12 September 2013


I remember the first day I walked through the gates of my high school. I remember feeling so scared and nervous thinking about how high school life would be like. Questioning whether it would be incredibly difficult and challenging or not that bad and instead be a great, meaningful experience. All that happened again to me the first day of college. I attended a high school that was closely related to CSUN, it’s actually right next to the campus, and an independent-learning high school where I had to learn subjects on my own. I feel that both schools prepared me for CSUN because I already had an idea of how things worked at CSUN and I was used to learning subjects on my own, which is what we basically have to do now in college. In high school they try to teach us many skills to prepare us for college like being a good writer, being able to participate in class discussions, and being independent individuals. Once you get to college you understand why they were trying to prepare us ahead of time. Now everyone expects us to know what it takes for us to succeed in college. High school prepares us for the future, but precisely for college. They really make it their goal to implement skills that are essential in college in order to make the transition smoother. College makes sure we know these previous learned skills and makes sure that are now ready to learn more skills and make use of them in our future careers. Both high school and college try to teach us lessons that will benefit

us in the future and they prepare us before the next big step in our lives, just like high school prepares us for college. I learned many beneficial skills in high school. I learned to multi-task, write many essays, be a comprehensive reader, be good at memorizing, participate in class, being proactive learners, responsibility, and most of all being independent. They also had helpful resources for us to use such as websites for some classes, like they do here at CSUN. It makes sense to believe that the goals of high schools are to have us leave high school with the basic skills that we will need in college. Once you get to college, then everything you have been taught really comes in handy and from there you then begin to learn new skills right away. There are some skills that I still haven’t been able to put into practice here in college. I’m having a hard time being punctual, being able to handle a lot of homework, meeting deadlines, and overall being able to handle everything all at once. Schools have different teachings, morals, and values that they want to influence on their students. In high school they included being independent, taking school seriously, being active learners, and being respectful of others. In almost every single class I had in high school, the teachers made it mandatory for students to participate in class, sharing opinions and asking a lot of questions. If we didn’t then our grades would suffer. It’s very similar to classes here at CSUN. We were also very encouraged to be in clubs or sports, and to participate in school activities. Some teachers actually gave extra credit if we participated in school activities, showing our school spirit. Here at CSUN, the teachings they have include being respectful of others, creating a safe and positive environment on campus, to not judge others, obeying campus rules, and making sure that we are achieving our goals and not wasting our time. At orientation, I heard the students many times focus on not being judgmental towards each other but being accepting and

respecting to one another. Overall both schools try to make us focus on our social skills because they are essential in making us people that are easy to work with in any environment. Now that I know what it feels like to be a college student, looking back at my high school years, there are many things I wish I had done differently. I wish that I had made every class time count and not just focus on getting it over with. Many times I would memorize lessons or information taught in class to pass tests rather than trying to understand it and figure out why it’s important to know that material. I regret not having a better attendance at school because now it’s very important to not ever miss class because we could something very important that could affect our grade. I also wish that I had taken the time to write notes for assignments in my English classes and in history as well. I wish I had also been a better essay-writer for my English classes. Actually when I read, Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott, I really liked it and thought it was very helpful and useful when it comes to writing assignments. I like that she states, “I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully…, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident (Anne Lamott).” I felt very encouraged by this line and appreciated the fact that she wants her audience to understand that we all feel the same way and can definitely relate to this. I wish I would have known this in high school. The skills that we acquire in both high school and college both prepare us for situations in the near future in which we are going to have to put them into practice. High school gives us these skills to prepare us for college and college for our future careers. They are both beneficial and useful. I believe that in high school we were forced to learn them and put them into practice but now it’s more of a choice. Even deciding that you want to go to college is a choice. Now is the time for us to finally be adults and work hard for what we really want in life. CSUN will

supply us with additional requirements we need to succeed in the future. I’m sure that we will have many beneficial and great experiences here that will influence us for the rest of our lives.

Works Cited Lamott, Anne. “Shitty First Drafts”. Language Awareness: Readings for College Writers. Ed. by Paul Eschholz, Alfred Rosa, and Virginia Clark. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005: 93-96.