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High school education is a vital stage in life, whose real value one fully realizes once he/she becomes a college student. It often happens so that students start appreciating the profound knowledge they have been equipped with at school only during their first year in college. It is then that many young adults understand they should have studied certain subjects more thoroughly. In addition to laying further foundations of knowledge, high school education also plays a fundamental role in teaching young people how to be successful in adult life by developing their critical thinking and communication skills as well as unlocking their talents. Finally, it is in high school that most students become aware of their vocation and make the final choice concerning their future specialization. In this essay, I will try to analyze several aspects of my high school education demonstrating their crucial role in preparing me for college life.
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Reflecting on my high school years, I can say that I was lucky to attend Southlands Christian High School, a religious educational institution in the City of Walnut. ‘A tiny world’ – that is how I would describe my school to people who have never visited it before. It is a small city with its inhabitants, teachers, and students working in synergy and moving in the direction of their common goal – well-rounded education and college preparation. I studied in a favorable learning environment where students were continuously encouraged to participate in academic life as well as communicate with each other during extracurricular activities. One of the major advantages of Southlands Christian High School was its staff of highly skilled, experienced teachers who knew how to motivate students to excel in their studies and improve their performance with each learning activity. If a student’s grade, for example, was lower than C, the school provided a tutorial to help one get a higher grade. Another thing I liked about our school was its well-established college preparatory program. Friendly student counselors were always wihin reach, ready to help seniors with professional advice, and informed about all details of college application procedure. In this respect, I would like to thank my high school teachers for guiding me in selecting a university and helping me become successful in my academic life. Another positive aspect of Southlands Christian School was a strong emphasis the school administration put on studying English. The teaching staff implemented the so-called “English Only” policy in the school routine: if students spoke languages other than English on campus, they received detention and had to stay after classes writing essays or copying definitions from the dictionary. Due to this method, English practice was not confined solely to the classroom but became an integral part of out-of-class communication what considerably improved our speaking skills. In fact, Southlands Christian School welcomes students from many countries of the world, such as China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and others. They gladly come to study in this friendly atmosphere where they can feel quite at home thanks to English, which is not only a means of communication but a bridge between different cultures. The only drawback of Southlands Christian High School that I would like to emphasize was the absence of a well-equipped students’ library. It was especially inconvenient when one had to do a research paper and the only place to find necessary resources was the public library.
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In general, the invaluable experience I gained at Southlands Christian School proved to be beneficial when I was joining college. However, the most important strategy I learned in high school and used in my college life was good time management skills. We used to have a very busy schedule and always had to find time for different events and activities at school, so every minute was precious. The teachers explained us how to plan carefully without postponing the tasks until the last minute and always meet the deadline. Since they taught us to manage our time reasonably, I do not need any supervision now and always set to my college assignments immeddiately without procrastinating. The latter is especially important, because, unlike in high school, college staff does not monitor students. Thus, they should be independent and self-reliant in completing all the work on time. Furthermore, college life offers numerous time-consuming co-curricular activities and clubs, which provide a positive impact on one's academic progress. Thus, in order to able to combine studies and having fun in college life, I try to follow the principles of time management that I learned in high school: always make a plan, do most difficult things first, and accomplish the activities.
I believe that high schools throughout the district could further improve the strategy outlined above by implementing an optional course on time management. In this course, tutors could acquaint students with the basics of time management from careful planning and prioritization to goal setting and avoiding procrastination. In my opinion, good time management skills are among the most essential personal skills. The ability to organize time efficiently is a way to succeed in one’s future career that starts in college. I have seen many people fail in their studies only due to their inability to set priorities and distribute their time effectively among different activities. The more a student can accomplish effectively in less time, the more time will be left for his/her recreational activities and hobbies, which is quite important for one's productivity.
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In conclusion, Southlands Christian High School laid significant groundwork for my college studies. If it had not been for the highly qualified teachers and counselors who facilitated my choice of future specialization and armed me with the necessary knowledge and crucial skills, I would find it far more complicated to adapt to the college routine during the first year of my studies. Owing to the indispensable experiences I faced in high school, I perceive college life not as a barrier but as a challenge that contributes to my further personal and professional development and makes me stronger.
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