If you’re planning to leave for college soon, you might be wondering what life after high school is like. Having some idea of the differences can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed once you arrive on campus.
When you get to college, you’ll notice that everything from academics to your social life will change. Here are just a few examples of the changes to expect.
When you’re in high school, you are legally obligated to go to school. That’s why your parents and teachers insist that you only miss school when you’re really sick or have a family emergency. That’s also why you need permission to miss school and why your school will call your parents if you’re not in class.
In college, this is not the case. If you wake up feeling like taking the day off, or maybe only want to go to a few classes, you can. Some professors do take attendance, in which case you can get kicked out of their class for missing too many classes, but your parents won’t face legal consequences for not sending you to school.
Of course, there’s a downside to all this freedom when it comes to life after high school. You need to learn how to handle it, which means limiting the number of classes you miss. You also need to set your own study and sleep schedules.
For some college students, the temptation to go out every night and sleep through morning classes proves too much and they never learn how to manage their new found freedom. Often, this leads to flunking classes and, sometimes, even dropping out of school altogether. You have to be self-disciplined if you want to graduate from college.
Increased Social Opportunities
If you plan to move out of your parents’ house for college, expect to have a roommate. This is usually the case whether you live in the dorms or get an apartment or even a house. Most college students live with other people, which forces them to be social, even if they were shy in high school.
Having a roommate is just the beginning of the social life you can look forward to in college. While colleges might not have as many dances as high schools do, they have plenty of other on-campus social events and activities. You’ll find this out your freshman year of college when you’re told about mixers, Greek life, intramural sports, and more.
Fewer Tests and Homework Assignments
When you’re in high school, you tend to have daily homework and tests every few weeks. So prepare to be surprised when you get to college and find out that many professors only plan a few tests per semester.
In addition, it’s pretty unusual to get daily homework in college, which is another way life changes after high school. Instead, your professors might give you a date by which they expect you to finish reading a book or a section of a textbook. The same goes for papers, which you might be assigned once a month or a few times per semester rather than daily or weekly.
This doesn’t mean college life is a breeze, though. The fewer assignments and tests you have, the more each one is worth. So if you fail one of the three tests you have during the semester, it will be hard to get an A in the class. That’s why studying for tests and working hard on papers is so important when you’re living the college life.
If you’re in college already, can you add any other ways in which life is different than it was in high school?
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A lot of college freshers think of college as just another three or four years of school – but they couldn’t be more wrong.
There are so many differences between secondary school and college, and these differences make college more enjoyable than school ever was.
All grown up
Firstly, in college, you’re seen as an adult, so therefore you will be treated like an adult.
There is no writing letters home to your parents telling them your homework isn’t done or you were talking in class – and no detention.
You will even find that your parents will begin treating you like an adult when you begin college.
Could you imagine your parents letting you go on a night out on a school night, even if you were 18? I doubt it, but you’ll be amazed that they won’t mind you going out midweek, as long as you promise to go to college the following morning.
No more Mammy
For a lot of college freshers, going to college also means moving away from home, meaning you have to become more independent.
Mammy won’t be waking you up in time for class and there will be no lunch waiting for you before you leave. However, living alone is also a plus because it means a bit of freedom, and a lot of partying.
Unlike school, college isn’t nine to four, five days a week. In fact, in some cases you’re not even in college five days a week. You could also be in at different times each day, nine to one on a Monday or two-to-five on a Friday, it depends on the course.
There is no set lunchtime in college either – you just eat lunch whenever you have a break between lectures, if you even have a break at lunch.
Another difference is that after Christmas, you are guaranteed to have a different timetable to before Christmas. These are known as Semester One and Semester Two.
For most of you, you began secondary school with a lot of your childhood friends, but you are more than likely not to know anybody in your class. Also, unlike school, which is in your local area, people come to college from all over the country, so you are going to make friends with a wide range of people from different counties.
In regards to going to classes, unlike school where you had to be in each class or you were in serious trouble, you don’t actually HAVE to attend lectures, unless you want to pass the module that is.
A lot of lecturers will take attendance and sometimes they can use that towards your final grade, so unless you have a valid excuse, try not to miss lectures too much.
There is no ‘homework’ in college either (so to speak).
You will get set assignments that will have to be completed by a certain time, and these will go towards your final grade in that module, but it is nothing like the homework that you got in school.
One downfall to college is that like school, there are Christmas and summer exams in college, but these exams are more serious in college as they will determine whether or not you will make it in to the following year of your course, while in school it only determines what class you will be in the following year.
Personally the most important difference between college and is that there is no uniform, however this can be a pain, for the girls especially, when you are late for class because you couldn’t decide what to wear.
Don’t use these differences as an excuse to take a more laid back approach to college: you’re going to be treated as an adult so act like one.
Remember, this is going to determine the rest of your life, so work hard at it and take it seriously – all while having fun of course.
After all, your college years are said to be the best years of your life.