Prepared for College?

Think back to your first month of college, regardless of whether it was this year or 30 years ago. Were you prepared? Did you feel competent among your classmates and friends?

Patrick Higgins made a comment that struck me as a perfect way to assess whether schools are adequately preparing students for the rigors of college – he mentioned the survey he’s giving to all of the students from his school who just completed their first year of college. This seems to me the perfect way to determine if the students from your school are actually READY for that wild world of academia – if I had a school, I’d be jumping all over this!

Back to that question – was I prepared for college? Academically, definitely. Overall? Nope.

Tim Walker egged me on and egged me on to write this post, and I first balked because when I write about something I’m really passionate about I sometimes have a hard time conveying my true feelings – the rationale is all THERE in my head and has been for so long that it’s hard to get it out. Here’s my stab at it, one of a multi-part attempt to get my head around the issue –

My friends and I weren’t prepared for college for one simple reason – we were lacking time management skills. Sure, some of us had “Life Skills” classes in high school, but it didn’t prepare us for the complete and utter openness of the college experience. We went from being scheduled every single minute in high school to having a college class schedule, but WAY too much “open” time.

Who’s fault was it?

The high school I attended was on the quarter block system, which meant that teachers used the 90 minute periods to …