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Does High School Prepare You for College?

By: Emily Fleischmann

Each year, the typical student at Conard spends hours and hours on school work. Whether it be in the building or at home for homework, there is an abundance of time and energy put in by every individual who ultimately graduates. Teachers tell us the same thing every time: “This will prepare you for college!” We trust their words without question, but should we have worries about the challenge of college despite attending school in West Hartford? A handful of alumni who graduated in 2023 shared their experiences with this topic after undergoing their first few months of college.

While there are different takes on whether high school was beneficial or not, alum Kyle Barnum shared that he believes he was equipped to take on UConn Storrs due to the course load he had previously taken. Specifically, he provided tactics he learned in high school that allowed him to be ready to complete work at a collegiate level. He suggested to current Conard students that “the best way to prepare is [by taking] AP classes.” Since APs are college-level, [they] will expose you to the course work that universities entail. Moreover, he found that “I was prepared because I built solid study habits…and [having] a daily schedule definitely [helped]”. If you would like to develop the necessary skills for college, try some of these tips!

Sharing a similar view that Conard helped her brace for the challenge of college is alum Charlotte Phalon, who now attends Sacred Heart University. She has come to realize that “Conard was… a more academically challenging school... [which] was something I realized once I started my classes in college.” While we may or may not notice it at the moment, this high school is relatively tough in comparison to other institutions. Although it can sometimes be tough to handle, hard work may eventually contribute to success in the future. Phalon also added that she “figure[d] out how to manage [her] time” during her junior and senior years of high school, which paid off since she can now balance college-level courses.

 Finally, alum Sharandeep Kaur, who currently attends UMass Amherst, also shared that high school has benefited her college life, but in a different way. Kaur has found that participating in the sports programs was the most beneficial to her, as “with sports, you’re able to choose what you want to do, test the waters, and see what you like.” She made a comparison between this process and college, as there you can decide your major based on what you enjoy. Since she finds comfort in the independence of university, having the opportunity to pick a sport was important to her. Upon further reflection, she explained her belief that “in high school, so much time is wasted on classes students are forced to take.” Kaur was not fond of the time spent on classes unrelated to her interests and current major, which taught her information that would not be useful to her in the future. Yet, she appreciates the choice of sports she had to play, as it was similar to college students being offered options for classes.

It’s important to acknowledge that the rigorousness of different schools may have impacted each student’s own experience. College may also not be the correct path for everyone to follow after high school ends, and it is not the only option. Nonetheless, it is clear that many of the students interviewed believed attending Conard was the preparation they needed to thrive, based on their first few months of school. If you plan on attending college after receiving your high school diploma, consider these outlooks!

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