Brittany Ballantyne

Social Media Director


For some, the transition from high school to college means packing up one’s closet, saying goodbye to friends and family and driving an hour or more to their new home away from home.  Others have a ten-minute walk to campus for their first day of school.

“I was already rather familiar with the campus set up, I had heard wonderful things about the professors, the classes, the general set up of the institution and I knew that if I went here I would have no problem with it because it was such a good school,” sophomore Matt McDougal said. McDougal went to Keene High School starting sophomore year of high school and spent four summers on the Keene State College campus.

Sophomore Eddie Harris, who also went to KHS, said, “The fact that it was local actually almost dissuaded me a little bit,” but added that after looking at it he decided, “it [KSC] isn’t just one of those cheap, local schools but rather a nice school.” Harris explained that although he looked into other colleges during his high school years, he chose KSC because it was much cheaper than other schools he looked at and liked the program that was offered for his major.

KHS and KSC had a similar building structure, according to Harris. “If Keene State College were to have a baby, it would be Keene High School,” he said.

McDougal talked about the differences between KHS and KSC and said, “I sort of feel like the concept hasn’t changed. I feel like the degree has changed a lot though. I definitely feel like the work that I do here is a lot of more rigorous and a lot of more involved and sometimes a lot more crazy, but I’d have it no other way. Another similarity about the two schools for Harris, McDougal, is encountering junior Amber Beam. “It’s really nice to see an old face type of thing, and you already know them so you’re already connected with somebody while going to [KSC],” Beam said.

McDougal said he “really appreciate[s] having a number of close friends still in the area who are easily accessible and I didn’t have to worry about leaving them, if anything I had to worry about them leaving me because they’re going to other colleges.”

Harris mentioned that he sees many people from KHS on the college campus that he didn’t realize went to KSC as well. He pointed out that since the college is much bigger than the high school, he doesn’t see Keene folks all that often. Harris said that he’ll even chat with former KHS students he didn’t talk to in high school

McDougal said he goes through a similar experience when seeing old faces. He commented it’s “interesting having the past come back, some people who you knew before who are attending the very same institution as you are, and seeing them on a more regular basis-it was unexpected but not necessarily unwanted either, it was a surprise.”

Beam favors Keene not only because she can see familiar faces, but because she can stay close to her family as well. “I’m definitely a homebody, I love my parents as weird as that sounds but I do love them and I don’t think I could’ve traveled so far so I like being close to them and seeing them all the time,” she said.

Harris said although he doesn’t live on campus, he spends a majority of his time staying at his friend’s places there. He said there are “one or two couches that are acquainted with me,” explaining that he stays the night where his friends on campus live to hang out with them and sticks around campus to do homework as well. McDougal, in contrast, has been living on-campus for two years. He said he enjoys it “if only for the fact that it feels like a home away from home, but not a home that’s too distant from home.

“I still get to live in what almost feels like, at times, a separate city,” McDougal said and pointed out that this way, he doesn’t have to worry about traveling far to go home if need be.

Beam’s lifestyle at home compared to what it was in high school has “definitely changed from high school, I have more freedom,” she said. Beam said she definitely doesn’t have as much freedom as someone who lives on-campus, but pointed out that her freedom is not much different from that of on campus students. Harris said his home life was more basic whereas his KSC lifestyle is more relaxed and allows him to be more of a free spirit.

One benefit Harris said he had in coming to KSC is that he knows the area and surrounding area pretty well, making it easier for him to find spots to use for films he makes in classes. Knowing the terrain has proved useful for him.Harris also found that living at home makes for an easier time working part-time while in school.

One perk that McDougal admired was doing laundry for free. “Every now and again I’ll take my laundry home, and sometimes, if I’m really lucky, it gets folded for me,” McDougal chuckled and said. “It’s the transition I think that really matters, it’s not so much the distance,” he said.

Harris said that compared to high school, teachers now take him more seriously and look at him on a more “eye-to-eye” level now that he works at the college level. “The transition from high school to [KSC] is a good one because it’s when you really make that transition into adulthood,” he said.


Brittany Ballantyne can be contacted at

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