For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jul 13 2015
by Jennifer Cotter

Why Having a Large Graduating Class Will Help Me for College

By Jennifer Cotter - Jul 13 2015

When you think of a high school graduating class, you typically think of a group of anywhere between 300-500 students. Well, have you thought about what it would be like to have a senior class of more than 1,500 students? No, I am not joking. In fact, my high school was classified as the largest high school graduating class in Texas this year. While having such a large graduating class was intimidating for me, I was able to find a way for it to be beneficial and because of that, I feel more prepared as I get ready to enter a university with classes ranging anywhere from 30 students to 300 students. This is already normal for me.

As college approaches, I think about the differences between my responsibilities as a high school student and as a college student. One thing I have heard multiple times is that college professors won’t care if you pass or fail. They are there to teach. How well you do is in your hands. They aren’t going to baby you, you have to be the one to reach out if you are having trouble understanding what’s being taught in class.

Because of my school being so large, this isn’t a foreign concept to me. Similar to college, my high school teachers had many students and while they did care about your grades, they did not go out of their way to approach each individual. If there was a problem, or if I didn’t understand something, I had to go to my teacher and find a time around both of our schedules to sit down and have him or her reteach me lessons I was having a difficult time learning. I can’t speak for smaller high schools, but having a large senior class has taught me how to take action and take responsibility for my own success.

One major concern with almost every student in my class was student ranks. With such a substantial amount of students, getting into the correct percentiles to receive automatic admission into some colleges was very challenging and honestly for most of us, quite impossible. While I am not afraid to admit that I did not receive the GPA or rank that I was aiming for, it taught me how to push myself to study hard to try to at least make it into the upper half of my class — which I successfully did. The work load in college will definitely be more time consuming and probably more difficult. Therefore, I hope that the study habits I have gained throughout my four years of high school will help me to be successful with my studying and my grades in college.

Obviously, I would not be able to name every single person in my class. I did not know everyone I was graduating with — literally, I didn’t even know the names of the two people I was sitting next to at graduation. What I learned in high school is that it really is easy to make such a large school feel smaller (I’m sure we all heard this at our college orientations). I was able to become involved in something I am passionate about, which resulted in me making friends with people that had the same passions as me. For example, I was a newspaper editor with four other girls who I ended up becoming very close with. Two of them will be attending the University of Missouri with me and all of us are passionate about majoring in journalism.

So am I nervous for college? Of course I am. Everybody is. But I feel like going to a large school will benefit me as I transition into the next phase of my life.

Lead photo credit: Marc Cotter

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Jennifer Cotter - University of Missouri

Jennifer Cotter is a freshman at the University of Missouri majoring in journalism. In high school, she was Senior Editor of her school’s newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, taking pictures and watching "Grey’s Anatomy." You can follow her on Twitter @Jennifer_Cotter and Instagram @Jennifercotter728!

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