11 Things I Liked Better About College Than High School

Who else is familiar with the song I Love College by Asher Roth? I thoroughly enjoyed my time in college much more than my time in high school. It was a much better four years of my life than high school ever was. Here are eleven reasons why I was much more exponentially content during my four years in college.

It’s more socially acceptable to eat by yourself at the food court or dining hall. I felt like in high school, there was a lot of social pressure to have lunch with other people. Honestly, I felt weird if I ate alone. However, in college, I had meals by myself most of the time and I couldn’t have cared less whatsoever. People have classes, work shifts, and other activities at different times of the day. I liked that I could eat lunch at the food court or breakfast at the dining hall all by myself. People at college don’t really care if you eat alone or not.

You get to build your own schedule. In high school, the school day lasted from 7:30 to 2:50 each day. I did get to go in later on Wednesdays, but I digress. In college, you’re more in charge of when your school days start and end. You can start at 9:30 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon. You can even have four-day weekends, if you want! During my last year of college, I had Mondays and Fridays off of class both semesters. Also, you can make it so you have just one class one day and two classes the next.

You can study what you’d like to study. In high school, everyone had to take four years of language arts, three years of science, four years of social studies, three to four years of math, world language, and electives. In college, however, you study what you want to study. If you want to study graphic design, you can study graphic design. If you want to study social work, you can study social work. If you want to double major in political science and neurobiology to go to law or medical school, you can do just that!

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Durward Hall at Colorado State University (Credit: Colorado State University)

You can dress however you see fit. High school felt like a dress to impress environment. As a college student, I wore whatever I wanted, depending on the weather and activities. Wear a tank top over a polo shirt, high-waisted black jeans, and ballet flats if you want. Wear a school sweatshirt, basketball shorts, and high tops if you want. Wear a sports jersey, leggings, and slip-on sneakers if you want. One of my favorite outfits I wore in college was a hockey jersey, Under Armour running shorts, and gray converse sneakers with a plaid shirt tied around my waist. I do recommend dressing nicely for presentations, interviews, and speeches, though.

You can eat whatever you want for dinner. I remember the eve of my birthday my sophomore year, I literally ate popcorn and zebra cake for dinner. Feel free to have rocky road ice cream for dinner if you’d like. You’re perfectly in your right to make some chocolate chip pancakes for dinner if you’d like. If you want pasta topped with chili for dinner, you can dig into just that! Just make sure you are eating healthily when possible.

You can eat lunch in class. My high school had a policy of bottled water only on carpeted areas. There were a lot of carpeted areas in the building, and eating in science and art classrooms was beyond frowned upon, too. The opposite is true in college, though. I would eat peanut butter tortillas (one of my favorite quick lunches in college) during afternoon classes without issue. I would drink my Taco Bell lemonade in class after eating my lunch in classroom building hallways without problems. I was very superstitious about Taco Bell in college, and enjoyed eating there before I had an exam. I can’t remember if I did eat Taco Bell in class, but if I did, I’m pleased with myself for doing so.

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Nagel Hall at the University of Denver (Credit: University of Denver)

There’s less drama than in high school. Okay, maybe some people will hear or tell a juicy bit of gossip in the dorms, but not as much as in high school. I felt like people in high school were often talking about who was in a relationship with who and which students got into fights frequently. There was a lot less of that in college. I recall very little, if any, drama during my college years. I don’t have to worry about friends and acquaintances being in bad places because of gossip and drama someone in Precalculus class was discussing.

It’s okay to nap in the library or student center. In high school, falling asleep in class is frowned upon, and it can be embarrassing if a teacher or classmate catches you doing it. In college, however, if you fall asleep on a futon in the library or at a food court table because you really need a power nap, people will only take a photo at worst. Usually they will go on their merry way or mentally relate. Honestly, I feel like college is less judgmental in many ways. I could see someone ride a Ripstick in a Deadpool onesie while drinking an Arizona tea and I would applaud their life choices.

You meet amazing new friends and neighbors. Usually in high school, you are surrounded by people who live in your hometown or the surrounding area. That changes in college. You get to meet friends from different cities, states, and even countries! You might have college neighbors who are studying accounting but like to paint in their spare time, or someone who is studying to be a history teacher but enjoys baking cookies during their spare time. College is a great community to meet people from all walks of life and get to know them better. This brings me to my next point.

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Sproul Hall at the University of California, Los Angeles (Credit: UCLA)

The diversity is amazing. There are so many majors, so many hometowns, so many languages. During my senior year of college, my roommate was a native Chinese speaker. I met some students from the United Kingdom. Actually, one of my neighbors in college my first year was from the United Kingdom. It isn’t just the people from your hometown anymore. You are surrounded by people from so many places. People came to the university I attended from Illinois, California, Texas, even Alaska and Hawaii! So many amazing opportunities to make amazing new friends!

You have much more independence. As a college student, I liked having some independence. I liked that I chose when I could go to bed, what I got to eat, and what I got to do. You can go to Whataburger at 9:45 PM on a Friday night if you’d like. You can take your roommates on a shopping excursion on a university holiday if you’d like. You can stay up until 2 AM watching Merry Happy Whatever on Netflix if you’d like. I actually have watched Merry Happy Whatever; I recommend it very much.

What were/are/will be your favorite things about college? Let me know in the comments below.

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