Your college experience better than high school experience?

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schleppenheimer
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30 May 2014, 12:36 pm

I keep telling my high school senior, who has had a relatively OK high school life, that college will be better. And then I wondered, is college honestly better for people on the spectrum? I'm making an assumption that over time, the kids in college are somewhat more mature and may be more inclined to be nice. I could be totally wrong -- so I'm asking all of you.

[my son will be going to a very small liberal arts college that has a reputation for having "nice" students, a reputation for being generally friendly, is somewhat rigorous academically, but also has a reputation for accepting students from the autism spectrum - while not providing necessarily a "special" program for them other than the typical disabilities office]



btbnnyr
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30 May 2014, 12:40 pm

My college eggsperience was great, and my high school eggsperience verry merry berry good too.
I went to small school, super rigorous, many opportunities for undergrads, many students similar to me, administration super nice, helpful, flexible to accommodate students learning/living, my parents even complained that the people were too nice to us.


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Quill
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30 May 2014, 12:54 pm

I go to an online college, which is way better than high school for me. I did take a few in person classes at a local state college, and I found them similar to high school (meaning I was quiet and mostly ignored) but it was better in a way because it was just one class a week and then I could go home. The students did seem more serious than high school kids, and I didn't see any bullying at all, but no students stayed on campus so there might not have been much opportunity.

The school your son will be attending sounds really nice, if its reputation is correct.



nebrets
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30 May 2014, 1:21 pm

College is much better than high school.


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ImeldaJace
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30 May 2014, 1:51 pm

I am just a year into college, but boy is it better than high school. The students are so much more mature than in high school. I was bullied in high school, and so far I've not had any trouble at college. Another thing that really struck me about college was that more of the students want to be there. In high school no one really wants to be in school. :) I also like that you have a little more choice about your classes. You also get to focus on something that you love which is great for someone on the spectrum. Granted, you still have to take some required courses, especially general eds, which you won't necessarily like (or that you hate from the very depths of your being) but those classes are generally done with in the first 2 years. There is also a bigger crowd of people so it is easy to find your niche.



CWA
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30 May 2014, 1:52 pm

HEre is how it went for me.

I was horribly bullied throughout junior high and high school. Really bad. I was beaten, harassed, crammed into lockers... you name it. At somepoint I realized that it really had SOMETHING to do with me. Either... how I acted... or something (wasn't/not diagnosed). I wasn't sure. But I determined it wasn't just bad luck. I had no idea what I was doing wrong. Anyway, My senior year of high school got a lot better because I determined that if it was something I was saying, I would simply talk less. I would only talk to guys, not girls. It worked. I had a boyfriend by the end of senior year of high school. I wasn't popular, but I was also no longer bullied.

When I went to college. The first year wasn't spectacular. Honestly I spent a lot of the time just figuring things out. Making sure I got to class. Also even though it was a small campus... I got lost a lot. All the buildings look the same to me. So really I spent the first year just functioning and not worrying too much about socializing. Just making sure I showed up to class and did the work.

The second year I joined the sci-fi/fantasy/anime club. Uh, pretty much heaven for me really. Everyone was pretty awkward so we all pretty much got along. Now, I was still yet more socially impaired than the other people in this social group but it was enough to get invited to parties, events etc... so it was enough to give me some sort of a social life, have the occasional relationship, and not be lonely but no life long friendships or close friendships really. But I was not miserable and I was fairly happy. At the time, I honestly didn't realize that we weren't all best buds. In retrospect though I can see that I was tangental to the other folks there. We interacted, but I was not a critical part of the group. If that makes any sense at all. Think supporting character that was forgotten about as soon as the credits began to roll....

I will say that basically I've had a life filled with acquaintances. I didn't have friends and I still don't now. I didn't really keep in touch with folks from college either because to THEM we just weren't close. What seems like a friendship to me, really isn't to others. It's just an acquaintance. It's weird and I'm not sure I"m explaining it right. Basically I just really can't, for whatever reason, form close friendships easily. The only person I've been close to for the past 14 years is my husband and that's it. I don't have any friends. Just some acquaintances I might invite over for cards or something and it's unlikely they would show up.



FireyInspiration
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30 May 2014, 1:55 pm

I found college so much better because the people weren't immature or idiotic



Dr_Cheeba
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30 May 2014, 10:17 pm

I had a reasonably good Highschool experience as I managed to fit in with a click of friends. But public school... oh man oh man public school was the 7th layer of hell.

College was great because people are slightly more mature and accepting of you. They embrace uniqueness and standing out, which works out in your favour. And if you really don't want to be around people you can just go to your classes and get the hell out. You have that luxury, unlike highschool.


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diniesaur
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30 May 2014, 10:36 pm

Short answer: YESSS

In high school, I DID have some friends, but there were also quite a few assholes. In college, people have had time to mature and are mostly there because they WANT to be (instead of high school, where a lot of people are forced to go). I've actually seen people who used to bully me in middle school and high school become WAY more mature by college. They're open-minded, caring, and nice...it's amazing how they've changed. Socially, college is better because people are more mature and more likely to share similar interests (which is especially good for people like us).

BUT college also requires more maturity. When I started college, I'd just turned seventeen and was NOT ready for that much responsibility. Now, I'm doing better at it, but it's a lot easier to get overwhelmed in college. You have to advocate for yourself and talk to a bunch of people to get everything set up--AND there's more work (AP classes are NOT as difficult as college classes; they're just cheaper). There's a lot more autonomy, which I LIKE, but I don't think I was ready for it when I started college because I didn't have an easy "when to go where and do what" schedule.



dianthus
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30 May 2014, 11:10 pm

NO. For me college was infinitely worse. And I was told the same thing that it would be better so I was all hyped up to believe that. But it was definitely not better. It was hell, and it changed me and affected me in ways I have never gotten over. I wish I hadn't gone at all, or that I had chosen a different school, or at least put it off for a year like my dad suggested, or if only someone had prepared me and told me how hard it might be. DO NOT tell any high school kid a fairy tale that college is going to be better.

I never liked school at all but I would still say high school was much better than college. And I had the comparison of both public and private school. Private school was horrible because it was religious and very cult-like, and extremely repressive, but I STILL would have taken that over college, because at least people mostly behaved with some common decency and respect for each others personal boundaries. And no one bothered me at all in public high school. But at college I felt like I was suddenly being invaded by people, like I had no privacy, no space to myself, nowhere to be alone, I had people taking my stuff and eating my food and asking for money all the time, and guys randomly touching me in ways I didn't expect and had no idea how things led up to that. I was not in any way prepared for those kinds of situations. No they are not more mature at college, at least not in a good way, they are tasting freedom for the first time. Just think about that. And the pressure to be social is far greater in college than it is in high school.



goldfish21
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30 May 2014, 11:16 pm

Yes.

On average my classmates were 10 years older than me. They were much more mature and focused on learning to better their careers. It was a much more positive environment to be immersed in and learning from vs. the social distractions & drama of high school life.


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Shadi2
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30 May 2014, 11:56 pm

For me it was better because no one was picking on me lol, it was a nice change. Also it was focused on the things and classes I liked.


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Rocket319
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31 May 2014, 3:26 am

Quill wrote:
I go to an online college, which is way better than high school for me.


I entered college for the first time last year at the age of 50. I am enrolled in an online degree program and I am doing really well with it. My traditional schooling was very difficult. Few friends, didn't fit it, etc. and I ended up finishing my high school diploma through correspondence school. This was always a great shame to me. Since I entered the workforce at 17, people have always said "gee, you are so smart, why didn't you go to college"? Being "smart" helped me be successful so a degree wasn't a big thing before now, but I always wanted one. The expanded opportunities for online education have been a great benefit for me. My interaction with my classmates is through a discussion board and people are always exceedingly polite and supportive. I definitely never experienced that in a real classroom.



Dillogic
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31 May 2014, 4:35 am

There was no bullying at my college (unlike high school), but that's probably because people grew up a little and understood possible consequences better.

But apart from that, it still sucked due to having to be around people and a disinterest in a lot of the subjects.



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31 May 2014, 4:47 am

College has been better for me. I had a nice project group, the classes were more interesting and there was more free time. The building was also smaller than my high school one, and that really helped.



Rocket123
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31 May 2014, 3:05 pm

My first college experience was much worse. At 18, I left home to go to college. I quickly became quite depressed, dropped out and returned home.

While living at home, I attended a local university (essentially a commuter school) and graduated within 5 years. That was a much better experience. As I attended college rather anonymously.