Unprepared for College?

As someone who works in college health I thought this was extremely interesting.  As a former college student I found this extremely interesting.  

I know I don’t normally giant photos to flood random information with you guys (but I don’t normally do a lot of things…).  I thought it might be interesting to you (since most people reading are primarily in college or went to college). Just so we are clear, I did not receive any payments to post this on my blog or anything free..

I just found that so many people feel so much unnecessary pressure in college when it is more than your studies.  I could do a whole post on that topic alone really.

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Questions for you:
Anything surprise you?
Any big plans for the weekend?


51 responses

  1. This is super interesting. I will admit that as a college grad I can’t find those places (aside from NY and OH) on a map… dang it. This weekend I am taking the boy out to dinner tonight, Saturday is puppy training and I’m throwing a surprise party for one of my gfs, Sunday is running and birthday brunch! Lots of food and money be spent, oh glory.

  2. Working in schools this doesn’t surprise me that much… The days of state testing = how much money your district gets is horrible. Making schools have to get rid of one things just to teach to a stupid test that WILL not prepare some students for college. Our education system is totally backwards in ways. Sucks!!

  3. I think the real problem is that we are encouraging college for too many people. Not everybody needs to go, and some great careers in serious demand don’t require going to college. High schools should help people prepare for trade schools, too, and not go with a one-size-fits-all curriculum, which benefits nobody because it’s unhelpful to those not planning on going into academic fields, and it waters down the content for those who are. High schools need to help students ALSO prepare for trade schools – welding, auto repair, etc are all fields where our country is lacking personpower, and some of those jobs pay REALLY well.

    • I 100% agree with that and I’ll probably do some sort of follow up post. It used to be that going to high school and graduating was great, and people could pick trade schools, college, military or finding a job right out of high school. Now it’s not only frowned upon if you don’t go to college but college graduation to so many isn’t even a big deal.

  4. I completely agree with Victoria. College is not for everyone, but those statistics are kind of disheartening!! Some of the problem is that high schools don’t have students explore their options as much as they should. Students enter college thinking they really want to do something but in reality have never stepped foot in that field before!

    • Exactly. When I went to college I thought I wanted to be an education major and was so set on that…it took me three years of exploring other options to figure out that wasn’t what I wanted at all.

  5. Wow this is interesting (and I don’t mean in that way where you’re like “oh that’s so interesting” when you don’t mean it). I actually think it’s really beneficial information. I remember being in high school and working my butt off so when I got to college I thought it was easy, but I had friends who were struggling. A lot of people in my classes can’t write as well as I could in like late elementary school. I feel like high-schools have kind of dumbed things down and made the standards for college more on a level for everyone and like some of the other commenters like Nicki and Victoria have said, it isn’t for everyone.

    • I remember talking about this with you. I never realized (and fully admit that) how much you needed to work in high school to be ready for college. Even senior year of high school they really expect you to have SOME idea of what you want to “be” when you grow up. It took me three years of taking different majors classes to figure out I didn’t want to be an education major.

  6. I agree with Victoria, college is not for everyone. Nowadays in HS, we encourage everyone to get a four year degree, but really, not everyone needs one. We need mechanics, hairdressers, firefighters, HVAC technicians, and other professions that go to trade schools or 2-year degree programs too. And the military is another great option- my cousin went into the Navy and it was a great decision for him, he can go to college if he wants to and they will help him pay.

    But, this is definitely true. I used to work as a teaching assistant for both math and English (yeah, I’m one of those multi-talented people who can both, lol), and it was true on both ends. We had freshmen learning math that I learned in 7th grade, which would’ve been one thing if the class was for non-traditional students like those returning to college, but 90% of people were recent grads. I had to teach basic writing fundamentals as well. It amazed me.

    I feel like my high school more than prepared me for college though. My first year of college was easier than high school, with the exception of math (I took advanced calculus).

    • I agree with that. I think the problem right now is the pressure for students to not only go to college but WANT to go to college. That is entirely too much money to waste in schooling when in reality, you don’t need it.

  7. I 100% agree with this. I got taught laboratory courses all through getting my MS and PhD and I was shocked at how little many undergraduates knew and how much they expected to be spoon fed the material. I think more parents and high school counselors should be honest with these students, especially the ones who are at risk of dropping out of college, and suggest they go to community college instead. It’s so much cheaper and you can still transfer the credits you earn to a 4-year college.

  8. Oh, and, I went to a high school that was difficult. It was a (public) college prep high school that had a “college is the only way to go” mentality. The problem is, it’s not! I’m sure a ton of people wasted money on a degree that they never completed! I think that schools should encourage taking a year off to think, if you’re not ready for college, or encourage exploring other options.

  9. First off: YAY CANADA! ❤

    This is really interesting though…and I can see why people are feeling unprepared for college. Education has become a capitalist enterprise, where you're essentially 'buying' an education. But everyone is shepherded towards this sort of post secondary, so even those aren't ready or aren't capable of doing so feel like this is something that they have to complete. Then the value of the degree itself goes down (because so many people are enrolling/attempting to obtain degrees). While I did survive university (evidently, as I'm in an MA program now) I do not feel like I was adequately prepared for it at all – I think most people have a sort of 'culture shock' when they hit that stage.

    • Since I went to a lot of primary in Europe I understand this. I do agree that many people have such a culture shock when reaching college and that is why you see so many freshman drinking and “being bad”. LOL.

  10. Wow, an interesting inforgraphic for sure. As a few others said, I think there’s too much pressure for everyone to go to college when it’s not the right place for a lot of people. I recently read that the college degree has become the new high school diploma, meaning *everyone* feels like they need it to get a job.

  11. whoa mind just blown over that geography 9/10 can’t find Afghanistan. gosh that hurts. I think this is a great way to prove your point though that many people freak out but may be in the same boat as others

  12. I could talk about this for hours. I think our “unpreparedness” for college stems all the way back to primary/elementary school. This is not meant to rip on the school system, but there is SO much we could learn in our younger years that would free up space and time in high school to prepare us for college. I went to a HS that called itself a “college prep” school – but we still had to take the same history class three times, and even then barely learned anything that truly helped prepare us for college. (a course in “how to study” or “how to self-motivate” would have been much appreciated)

    Also, I think we don’t place nearly enough emphasis on life skills, home economics, sex ed, and human development classes. All through grade school and high school we are treated like children, too young to learn any of this, so by the time we get to college, all of this “life” stuff is totally new for us. Which is why (in my opinion) most people don’t do much of anything with their undergrad degrees, making grad school nearly essential for successful careers in some fields

    I think this issue runs really deep, and the suffering academics is just the icing on the cake.

  13. This is incredibly interesting-but sadly not all too surprising. Unless you are really wealthy and can go to a high school that’s more of a ‘prep school’ you will not be ready for college. I took AP CHEM and got an A… got to college, and got a C in advanced general chemistry. High school does not teach you adequate study habits or demonstrate the actual reflection of just how much time you will spend studying.

    Somethings needs to be changed though. I was lucky enough to adapt and adjust accordingly but many are not so fortunate. College also needs to focus more on every day life skills. While I just graduated college and am now an ‘adult’ I have no idea how to do my taxes, manage money the right way, etc. Every university should teach these core concepts so that when people do graduate they can succeed.

    I also think there’s too much pressure on getting a degree. College is NOT for everyone. You can get the appropriate certificates from a vocational school for what you want to go into without going to a 4 year university. Start working–work your way up the ladder and you can be just as successful, if not more than those who have a college degree.

    • Exactly. There are so many students that do not pick up (myself included) what they needed from high school. I really think if there were more classes in high school that weren’t math, english…core classes students would be much more prepared!

  14. It’s shocking to see the actual statistics, but at the same time it doesn’t really surprise me… if that makes sense. I was part of the 80% that graduated high school thinking I was ready for college, only to discover that I had no idea what the heck I wanted to do when I got there. I completed one semester before deciding that I needed to take some time off to figure out what the heck I wanted to do, and ended up going back a year later in a completely different area.

    I have to echo what a lot of other commenters have said and agree that there’s way too much pressure being put on kids to go to college. It’s not for everyone, and there are so many other jobs out there that don’t require a college degree. What’s more, it seems like getting a college degree these days is almost pointless unless you plan to go on to get your masters or PhD. I know way too many people who got their degree and couldn’t even find a job. Whereas people who took on a trade or specialization and went into the work force faster seemed to be fairing a whole lot better.

    Sad that it’s come to that…

  15. I think we really need to improve our public schools so that not everyone has to go to college. College isn’t for everyone, and it’s also ridiculously expensive and not a lot of people can afford to go anyway. Also, Americans in general suck at geography, so those stats don’t surprise me.

  16. After meeting half the people I met in college, this does not surprise me one bit. Haha. Actually, the fact a lot of people cannot distinguish New York and Ohio is sad. Really sad.

  17. I can’t say I am surprised. I feel like my studies could have been better, but for the most part my college times were good. Given I am not done yet..but for the most part I was successful haha. I just need better study habits!

  18. I’m not surprised AT ALL. I’m a college freshman this year at a really rigorous school. All through high school, I easily maintained a 4.0 GPA while taking 10 AP classes total and honors classes for the rest. Everything always felt easy, and I never believed there was anything I couldn’t do. Then I got to college. After my first semester, I have a 2.81 GPA. I was just really, really unprepared for how difficult things were here (admittedly, it’s pretty bad going to an Ivy League school and being graded relative to your peers, all of whom were smart enough to get into that school, too). This semester, now that I know what to expect, my grades are looking MUCH better.

  19. Thanks for sharing this! It kind of makes me feel better of where I stand chalked up against other college students. Lol… But I know that’s not its intent 😀

    I agree with the other commenters who say that college is not for everyone. A lot of people get offended when they hear this and think that it’s insulting. It’s really not. College is good for certain fields of study. Those who are going into unskilled labor (HATE that phrase, but that’s what it’s called) are better off not going to college. They would do better becoming an apprentice to someone in their field like with mechanics, welding, cooking, etc. These types of fields are “normally” better off spending their time not in college. They don’t need all of those schmancy fancy classes. It just ends up putting them further into debt.

    Oh, and I can locate Ohio because that’s where

  20. This map is really interesting. I went to a prep high school and it was really really hard but I did feel prepared for college (although it was hard too). A lot of my classmates didn’t feel as prepared though so I get where the image is coming from.

    I’m not sure what we can do to change the system but it’s obvious that there’s a huge nationwide problem. What’s really sad is the fact that the people our high schools send to college are expected to be the next generation of leaders in our country. You’d think that educating and preparing them would be a high priority.

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  22. This doesn’t catch me by surprise at all. Being an academic tutor I see the unpreparedness no a weekly basis, especially first semester. High schools around the country still baby their students and teach beyond the academics. Students should be learning studying strategies and experimenting with their personal learning styles so when they enter these big lecture hall classes they don’t give up because “the teacher cannot teach” That very well may be true but most college professors are researchers first and don’t have the skills to teach (that is a rant in itself) but the reason I have been able to succeed and learn and retain is because I was fortunate and developed study habits and learning strategies early in my college career.

    • Oh my gosh, I was a tutor as well for calculus and that was my biggest pet peeve. “The teacher cannot teach”. Um excuse me, nevermind they went to school for longer then you have been alive…The problem, I think is that in high school students are not being taught those study habits.

  23. Not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that I’m not too surprised by all of those numbers… It’s crazy to see all of them one after another though. I studied education in college and taught middle school last year, so it was interesting seeing the different ways education was stressed in the two different settings. In college we were taught to educate our students [to challenge them, to grow their potential], but in practice we were repeatedly told to teach to the test [to make sure that they knew everything to pass the state standardized test]. Most of the time those tests contain questions that test knowledge acquired from previous years… Fingers crossed my brother doesn’t become a statistic!

  24. The real surprise for me was the need for remedial classes. I’m obviously not the right nationality for this but it is really sad. Having studied a degree with an incredibly high ate of mental illness and incredible levels of competition, it doesn’t surprise me that people take longer/don’t complete their degrees – I wanted to leave mine!

  25. This is absolutely fascinating! In many ways I wasn’t surprised by some of the statistics, but a few really shocked me. I went to school in an area where the college rate was well above the national average, so in a way I was shielded from the realities your post mentioned. It only goes to show the discrepancies in our national educational system. When I got to college I experienced a “cultural shock” of sorts…high school, even AP courses, definitely didn’t prepare me for college courses. In all honesty though I have no idea what schools can do differently to better prep their students. I guess we all just need to dive in head first and learn through experience.

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  27. This is really interesting. There is so much variety in the level of academics between different high schools and colleges. Personally I felt very prepared for college classes so far. In my second semester now I have yet to really struggle with any course material or anything. Since I did the last two years of my high school online I already knew how to manage my time and study. I feel like a lot of high schools though (like the one I went to for my first two years) don’t prepare kids very well for college classes. The area I come from has a very very low college education rate – in fact the high school graduation rate is pretty low. I thought college was going to be super hard but then it was so easy last semester… anyway that is only my limited personal experience!

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