I used to say that I could not wait until I finished secondary school and have a greater say in what do. In reflection I can say that my experience in secondary school was more fulfilling for me than the university currently is for me. As I commenced my secondary school life, I was registered. Although I registered at the beginning of my university life, I have to register every semester for the courses that I would be pursuing. In addition, at secondary school level everything was handed out to me; while at the university I have to collect my information for different courses.
I believe that secondary school was easier because if I did not understand a topic, teachers were easily accessed. If I do not understand a topic at university I have to wait until the tutorial or office hours. I easily interacted with my teachers while at the university some of my lectors are not approachable. In secondary school I had three sets of vacations while at university I only have two sets of vacations. In addition, secondary school had two set of three weeks’ vacation and a ten weeks summer while university have one month in the Christmas vacation and four months for summer vacation.
I found that at secondary school I was taught the fundamentals of learning, while the university teaches me the advance structure of learning. I learned subject and verb agreement and not how to write essay but at university I learn additional fundamental of English like topic sentence use of punctuation marks and structure different types of essays. I also learned basic United Kingdom accounting principle for Caribbean Examination Council level. United State accounting is taught at the university level.
In addition, secondary school I did internal exam and was promoted to the year level while I do exams to earn credits towards my degree at the university. I did external exam and gain Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) certificate in several subjects but the university does an increment of courses and receive one degree. The secondary school structure is rigid while the university structure is flexible. The School year is divided into three terms while the university has semesters. In addition at secondary school the children have a long summer vacation while university students have the option of attending summer school.
School class times were scheduled for a school year while at the university classes would be chosen by me and changes every semester. I remember having one break time and a fixed hour for lunch whereas for university I can have lunch at time where there is free period. There were many rules at school which were enforced. However, there are some at the university which student are not acquainted with and no one enforces them. For example, if I did not attended classes regularly, the principal would call my parents. However at university there is not anyone who checks up and realized when I am missing from lectures or tutorial sessions.
Furthermore, there was a uniform at school that I wore; in fact, the principal and teachers made sure we wore our uniforms correctly. However, at university I can wear my own clothes, which my mother provide for me. I remember the principal sent me back home a last day for having on braids. Now I can wear braids, weave and even colour my hair at the university. Secondary School was small and had limited classrooms but university is bigger and have many different rooms. When I was at school I had a form room where I could eat my lunch and talk to my friends.
On the other hand at the university I do not have any fixed room that I can be in. There was also small number of children in the class in contrast to the large number of students at university. Most of the teaching was done in our form room whereas I have to go different places for lectures and tutorials. I knew everyone in my class because they came from first to fifth form, and some of the other children throughout the school. However, I am unable to know everyone in the lectures and I only know a few in the tutorial since my courses changes ever semester.
I was able to have a face to face teaching at school whereas I am taught different ways at the university such as lecture, tutorials and online learning. The work load at university is much heavier than at secondary school although I did eight subject at CXC level and I am only doing four course a semester. I conclude although secondary school was structure and rigid I thoroughly enjoyed my life there and those memories would remain with me forever. Even though, my university life is flexible and I have a greater say on my activities, I can now say that I prefer the structure of secondary school life.