Becoming a student of university or college is a life-changing experience and the time you will not forget. But what you should know right after you got accepted to your dream college is that student life is different from high school in a number of ways. Even if you think you have the right expectations about college and correct perception of life after high school, knowledge of major differences between high school and college will help you to change your setting smoothly.
While you were studying at high school, you lived with your parents. Now, as you moved to live on campus, you will share a room with the roommate. Such living has its pros and cons. You don’t have to obey the rules you parents set regarding housework but still, you have to obey the rules of the residence house or dorm where you will be living. Also, you will have to take care of cooking on your own and learn to share kitchen and recreation rooms with your new fellow students.
You used to wake up early in the morning to come to your classes at high school and stay there until the afternoon. At college, you can wake up just before your first class starts, be it in the morning or in the evening. There will be some days when you will have classes in the second half of the day or even have to spend a whole day on lectures. These may be not that pleasant high school and college differences but don’t worry: you’ll get used to them soon.
3. Teaching style
Teachers in high school used to write out the most important things regarding the class topic on the blackboard and dictate some definitions so you could write them down. College vs high school reality will be tough in this situation. Professors will hardly dictate you anything. Instead, they will be lecturing all class long, so you will need to develop a system of abbreviations to keep up with the speed of their talking. You may try to use a phone recorder but be ready that your professor will not like it. Still, you will have to make notes of the lecture since professors at college will deliver the topic in the way other than presented in your textbook.
Have you ever thought of how precious a textbook may be? Now you definitely will. College textbooks is one of the most expensive things you will have to buy for studying. Unfortunately, they will not be provided to you by your institution or library. The only hack to pay less for them is to ask whether any of your friends wants to sell their examples to you.
5. Class sizes
The number of people you will study with simultaneously differs much in high school and college. In the first case you studied in a room of 30 students or so, but now your class size ranges from 20 to a few hundred students. Remember this when coming to study. If you have a habit to arrive late, try to develop a new one: be always on time. Thus, you will not have to take an uncomfortable seat far from blackboard or display with instructor’s presentation.
There are two things you should know about high school vs college reality regarding homework. First, now you will have other types of assignments to complete. Now you will have to write longer essays, research papers, and labs. Some pieces of your homework will not be checked on every class, however, you still need to do it to be able to solve similar tasks during tests. As you can see, your workload will be higher than at high school. Second, you will have to manage your time yourself. Your professors will assume you do your homework entirely, so do not be surprised when your professor will ask you to start or join a discussion regarding the topic.
At high school, you used to take many tests during the semester that covered little amounts of material. College reality is different. Here you will take tests rarely, usually at the end of the semester, but the amount of material you should prepare for them will be much bigger. That’s one more reason why you should study everyday and prepare your homework on time even if your professor doesn’t check it every class. Everything you study during the semester will be checked during an exam in various tasks.
The textbooks as the costly items is not the only new thing you will have to pay at college. While living on campus, you will have to pay for living, meals in dining halls, and gas if you own a car to return home. Also, college studying often requires you to have a personal laptop which you can buy at a reduced price as a college student. Of course, if you received a full-ride scholarship, you can worry a bit less about your money matters. But the majority of students even need to take a part-time job on campus to make ends meet.
While studying at high school, you had much attention from your teachers. When they knew you had a problem with your assignments, they approached you, talked with you and offered help. In college, you should not expect your professors to meet you and ask you whether you need their help or advice. Instead, this is you who should look for a professor if something is unclear to you. Don’t get us wrong, college instructors are not arrogant. They simply have much work to do, therefore it is your task to get to know the office hours of a certain professor or assistant to come for a consultation.
The time you will have at college will help your personality grow and develop. Still, you should remember that it’s not only about freedom and independence but also responsibilities and priorities. Now you are completely in charge of your homework and following deadlines, arriving for classes and completing the necessary work to receive certain credits for your major. Also, you will have to keep track of your grades. Every college and even some departments have a set GPA to evaluate whether the student is able to continue studying or if it’s time to expel them due to poor academic performance.