UNITED STATES—It has been a debate people have discussed for years America, I mean literal years. Is high school or college some of the best times of your life? I know so many people who would argue its high school because you’re not an adult, you have no responsibilities and you’re just living life as some people would say. Then there are those who argue college is the way to go because you have a level of independence, you don’t have parents watching over you and you get a taste of adulthood, without having the full experience.

So if you’re asking me to pick between the two, it’s a no brainer for me: its college. I like high school, but I can’t tell you a single person in high school that I’m still in communication with right now. It was like as soon as high school graduation dawned, I was ready to move forward with my life. It might sound callous, but it is what it is. I couldn’t wait to go to college, and start a new chapter in my life. Meet new people, have new experiences and just live life.

For me, college allowed me to grow into an adult. It allowed me to meet new people and immerse myself in a foreign environment, learn about new cultures and ethnicities and understand the importance of managing money. I think that last one is perhaps the most important to me. Managing money is not easy for most people, but when you find yourself in a situation where you have minimal funds or you don’t have any funds at all, you begin to appreciate money that much more.

This is not to say people who don’t have money do not appreciate it. What I’m saying is when you have to manage money to accomplish something of importance to you (in my case it was paying for school), you realize how valuable of a commodity that money truly is. Also college taught me the importance of punctuality. The professor is contacting you via email or by phone if you miss class. If you miss class, you miss class, it’s your lost. They will not go above and beyond to ensure you obtain the notes or any homework or assignments that you missed, it’s up to you to ensure you’re not falling behind in class.

In addition, the college experience is something unlike anything else. The opportunity to meet new people, make lifelong friends, indulge in relationships, become a better person, gain knowledge and make experiences that you will recall for the rest of your life. In high school you still have freedom to do things, but there are limitations; you’re not living alone, you still have your parent’s right there by your side. So you have someone to bail you out, in college that is not the case. Your parents might be a distance from you. You can come and go from your apartment or dorm as you choose, and you become responsible for your actions, so be aware if you make the wrong choice there will indeed be consequences.

This is NOT me telling you which is better, it’s my personal assessment. So many people don’t have the opportunity to go to college, but for those who do, take advantage of it. It will give you a new perspective at life and an experience that you’ll never forget.

Written By Kelsey Thomas