It’s no secret that the high school to college transition is hard. Everything is new – the school, the expectations, the routine, the workload… everything. But, how does being homeschool affect the transition?
Going into my sophomore year of high school, I made the decision to homeschool. This wasn’t your typical kind of homeschool that your probably envision when the topic is brought up. My parents weren’t my teachers. Instead, all of my classes were online except for my senior year. Since this was the case, I was considered my own teacher. Being handed this title was pretty simple. I set the expectations for myself, meaning I had the ability to control my workload and choose the pace I wanted to work at. The only thing that was specifically required of me was to stay on track and be done by, or around, specific semester due dates.
Homeschooling was pretty simple, easy, and laid back. It wasn’t very demanding at all, and I didn’t feel the stress like I would at a normal high school. Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely stress that goes on, maybe even more than at a normal school, especially when it comes to semester due dates, but it didn’t continuously hover over like a dark cloud. I’m so glad I chose to homeschool. If I were to go back in time, I would still choose it. In some ways, I feel like homeschooling prepared me for college. But, in other ways, I feel like it did the opposite.
How Homeschooling Prepared Me For College
Note-taking and Teaching Myself. Let’s be real, professors don’t teach all that much. For the most part, they go over the learning objectives (at lightning speed, might I add), and it’s up to you to figure out the rest at home. Thanks to homeschooling, I had already been accustomed to doing that. When I was homeschooling, I had to learn to find the important parts of the lessons and write them down. I didn’t have a teacher showing me a Powerpoint slide or directly telling me what I needed to know.
Independence. Because I did everything on my own in high school, I became very independent. I don’t like to ask for help, so I learned how to figure things out on my own. Every question I had, for the most part, I figured it out on my own, and I still do. While professors are helpful, they won’t hold your hand and guide you through every little process. It’s important to learn how to be a problem solver.
Essays. Oh my goodness. If homeschooling taught me anything at all, it’s how to write essays. In my English classes, the majority of my assignments every week were writing 5 paragraph essays. I had at least 2-3 essays a week. While it was frustrating then, I’m so thankful for it now. Essays are incredibly easy for me to write now, even multiple page essays, which I definitely have in college.
Being an Adult. High school – the years of trying to fit in and be popular. But, not for me! By choosing to homeschool, I was choosing to leave behind social hour (because every teen views school as a way to socialize instead of learn) and reputations. I’m so glad I made this choice. It honestly taught me how to be an adult. In some of my most important years as a teenager, I was learning to grow into my own independent person, instead of what I saw everyone else being like. I can’t tell you how many people in college are still seeking approval from their peers, so they’ll act out in class to get attention. All I can do is roll my eyes when I see it. I don’t go to college to make friends and fit in. I go to get in and get out, so I can get a job that I want.
What Homeschooling Didn’t Prepare Me For
Test-taking. Yikes. When it was time to study for and take my first college test, I quickly knew I wasn’t prepared. Throughout homeschooling, I had gotten out of the groove of having to study hard for tests. I definitely took tests in high school, but it was different. There’s not as much pressure when you’re taking the test at home on your computer. Almost an entire semester into college, and I’m still relearning how to study for tests in a way that’s good for me.
Expectations. This… this one was the kicker. I’ve been so used to working on my own schedule that now being on one is challenging. Having assignments due on specific days by specific times, having to do those assignments in precise ways, or even having to show up to class is hard. Back when I homeschooled, if I was tired that day, or even that week, I could take the time off and chill out. What’s been the biggest struggle, though, is getting assignments in on time. I haven’t turned in an assignment late, but it’s still hard having one assignment after another. It’s easy to for me to get overwhelmed thinking about all of the things I have to get done by a specific time.
Despite feeling unprepared in some ways, I know that homeschooling prepared me more than it didn’t. For that, I’m grateful. I feel like I got a head start over my pears sometimes. I’m so glad I chose to homeschool. I would choose it over again and again. I may even choose to take some of my college classes online because of it, too!