Throwback Thursday: Freshman Year in High School vs. Freshman Year in College

With my freshman year at Tufts coming to a close, I somehow feel more stressed than when I began. Someone suggested that for this week’s Throwback Thursday article, I write about the differences between freshman year of high school and freshman year of college. So that’s what I did.

High school and college are completely separate worlds. As a freshman in high school, you feel young, but like you’re moving up in the world somehow. College is no different—except that feeling also comes with a ton of stress depending on what classes you’re taking and what your major is. Your intended major. Can’t forget the added stress of declaring your major so, so soon. Basically, just as freshman year of high school does nothing, a bunch of responsibilities appear freshman year of college and only continue to grow.

On top of that, for most, freshman year of college began as a scramble to meet new people and make friends and was a time of to figure out how to live sort of on your own—you know, with the training wheels of dorm life. It’s the official transition into the almost-adulthood stage of 18/19 years old, where you know “adult” is only in the title. Sure, you can vote, but you’re just going to drink juice boxes and have popcorn for dinner anyway.

And despite those major differences, both years are meant to serve as preparation for the next stage. In high school, you need to start beefing up your college applications from the start. In college, you need to start building up your résumé. Summer plans become more intense, and finals stress also eats you alive at the end of the year. In the end, you’re just working towards a goal. While there is a world of difference, a lot of those differences come as a direct result of age and the general responsibility associated with it.

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