Keeping high school attitudes will not foster college success

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

BETHANY ENRIQUEZ, Channels Staff

I can’t help but laugh whenever I look back to when I thought being a teenager in high school was difficult.

I would get angry and feel stupid for receiving average grades, yet I spent more time hanging out with my friends than I did studying. And when I actually decided to study, I found myself scrolling through my Instagram feed instead.

Little did I know that I was slowly digging myself a hole. College is a very different environment than high school, and in order to succeed your habits have to change.

Patrick O’Brien and Susan Davis-Ali wrote an article in USA Today College about high school habits that need to end before starting college.

I was not surprised to see many of mine in their article. I found the habits that got me through high school were sure to lead me to fail in college.

The article should be presented to high school seniors to remind them that even though college is right after high school for some, it is a completely new setting.

Students entering college should be advised that juggling a social life, family life, work and schoolwork is not as easy as it is in high school.

I never learned, or changed my bad habits until my second year at City College.

I was part of Advancement Via Individual Determination Program, or AVID, in high school, which is a college success program. Ironically during my first year at City College I did the exact opposite of what would be expected from an AVID student.

I never listened to my high school advisers and teachers when they told me I was wasting my time.

I would push aside all of their life advice. Once they were done, I’d just tell myself I would never have to see or listen to their lectures again after graduation.

I’d sit in classrooms that overlooked Santa Barbara High School’s historic Peabody Stadium, daydreaming, or texting my friends planning where on Milpas Street we were grabbing lunch.

My teachers told me I was foolish for wasting my time for not trying my best, warning that I would later have to pay for the same classes in college. They were right.

When it came time to enroll for classes for my first fall semester, I had no idea what, or how many to take. I still didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to major in.

Clueless, I did what the majority of other students did—take as many units as possible to transfer to a university in two years. So I decided to take 25 units during my first two semesters at City College.

I thought if I did ok with seven-hour days in high school while working, then I would get by in college.

I was wrong. I failed two classes, stopped showing up to one, and barely passed the others.

I was still mad, and still disappointed in myself, but continued hanging out with my friends, scrolling through my Instagram feed, instead of focusing on schoolwork.

Oh, and I was put on academic probation. The so-called “adult life” hit me hard.

My high school habits weren’t cutting it anymore. In fact, they were setting me up for failure.

Schools should curb the cliché advice at the end of the school year, and instead have someone connect with students by sharing realistic experiences of trials and tribulations as a college student.

I’m glad to say, even though reality slapped me across the face, it was what I needed.