Students discuss transition from home-school to college

Starting college is stressful for most students. Class sizes, meeting new people and worrying about managing it all may overwhelm the bravest of students.

For those coming to college from a public high school, the transition can be less frightening than for those who have come from the smaller home-school classroom.

Yaschica Williams, Department of Sociology Chair, said she thinks the interaction public school students have with one another is the only difference between home-schooled and public school students.

“I’ve had home-schooled students in my classes and they transitioned well,” she said.

Freshman Katelyn Walton said as a home-schooled student, the largest classes she had consisted of five or six people.

“The size (of the classes) is probably the biggest difference,” Walton said. “All of my high school classes were smaller environments. It went from a few people to 30-90 people, but it hasn’t been too hard.”

Walton said during high school, there were moments she would have liked to have gone to a traditional school, but has no second thoughts about it in college.

“In high school, a lot of my friends were in public school, so at times I felt excluded,” Walton said. “In college, it really hasn’t made any difference other than finding my classes.”

Walton said one of the biggest differences between her home-school and college experiences is organization.

“Home-school is ‘go with the flow’ and move at your own pace,” she said. “I could get up at 10 in the morning and do whatever I wanted to. I could even go to school in my pajamas, but I can’t do that here (in college) without people looking at me funny.

“In college I can’t move at my own pace. College does push you harder and that can be good.”

When Walton or other home-school students need help learning the social aspects of school, senior Brittany Harris, a member of the Missions Ministry at the Baptist Campus Ministry, is there to help.

“Growing up, I didn’t exactly have a specific social group that I fit in with,” Harris said. “There were times I felt like an outcast. I know from experience how discouraging that can be, so I have always made it a point to reach out to people.”

Harris said she considers helping new and bashful students a privilege rather than a responsibility.

“Serving others has never been a task for me,” she said. “It is something I love to do and have enjoyed from a very young age. If I can make the difference in one person’s life by showing them the love of Christ through my words and my actions, it has all been worth it.”

Sophomore Josh Grigsby, who attended a traditional high school, said he believes home-schooled students could have some key advantages coming to college.

“Sometime I wish was home-schooled,” Grigsby said. “I think there is more of a focus on school work than a clique or a group of friends. I wish I would have focused more on school and home-school would have helped.”

Grigsby said he has a lot of friends who came to college from home-school. He said for some, they tend to be “socially awkward” because of a lack of interaction.

“We hung out a lot, and eventually they learned how to interact better,” he said. “If I had to do it again, I would still do public school because I like to be around people, but I do think there are a lot of positives to home-school.”