The difference between high school and college: Breaking down expectations
The difference between high school and college is huge even though the former serves as a preparatory stage for the latter. A newly graduate high school student may find life in college arduous and severe. It is a far cry from the happy-go-lucky carefree existence you once had in high school where academics and parties easily blend together. Sure, you had to work hard on your GPA to get into your university of choice, but back then, you still had a semblance of a social life.
The difference between high school and college can be summed up in five major statements:
1 In high school, obeying rules is your motto; in college, being in control is your lifeline.
We all know that high school students are obligated to attend school while college students choose to go to school. If you feel helpless and controlled in high school, as the case often is, it may be because of the rules and very controlling school authorities. Once you enter college you will have to make a few rules and enforce them. For the only way to survive college is by strictly requiring yourself to go to class as well as allot time for review and further studying. If in high school, you have your parents and teachers to make reminders for you, you will have to do this by yourself in college. College students will be relying more on sticky notes or smartphone reminders. All in all, high school students are like babies in the families, pampered and closely supervised by teachers, principals and teachers. Meanwhile, college students are like the eldest in the brood, regulating themselves by managing their schedules on their own and keeping close watch on their academic requirements without any kind of promptings from anyone. Perhaps the only perk in being in college is the flexibility of your schedule as opposed to a structured one in high school. However, if you ask college students, the free hours are not spent idly for it will be used in studying or even working.
2 If learning is to be pursued, this is done in high school by spoonfeeding; in college, you need to reap and sow before the meal.
In high school, you will be told what you need to learn. Oftentimes, you only need to listen or take down notes for 36 weeks, which is the length of a schoolyear. This is how learning is acquired. The readings are often assigned and then discussed in class. Hence, you may only need a maximum of 2 hours a week for studying. Others hardly allot time to do this as long as they pay attention in class. College offers a different scenario. First, classes are divided into two semesters with 15 weeks each and 1 extra week for the exams. The lessons are not spoonfed that oftentimes, you may need to make extra readings in order to fully grasp the lessons. You will have to find supplementary sources through your own research. If there are assigned readings, you will have to study this by yourself for the professors will not teach them but will probably asks you questions outright or your interpretation of it outright. To survive college, you need to allot 2 to 3 hours per an hour subject.
3 In high school, teachers are like your parents; in college, professors are your mentors as well as your greatest enemies.
If you think your high school teachers are mean, then you will be surprised when you get to college. High school teachers would often tell or remind you of what you need to do in order to meet your academic requirements. They diligently check your homework even making brief notations for your guidance. Many times, consultations would even become instant tutorials. If you missed school, teachers can provide notes on the lessons you missed or give you make-up classes. Most importantly, high school teachers are trained in imparting knowledge. In college, your teachers act as guides in learning. The professors are the experts in their fields, but often they will not explain the lessons but rather challenge your understanding of it. For this purpose, you really have to come to school well prepared. If they do write on the board, it is more to illustrate a point rather than enumerate them. At times, they will not check homework but would expect you to perform the same procedure during the exam. All in all, college professors teach in a way that facilitate your learning rather than teach the lessons point by point.
4 If tests were on rocket science, in high school, you will need to reproduce the blueprint space shuttle; but in college, you will have to produce the map of the solar system since your space ship successfully launched into space.
In high school, most tests require you to reproduce what you have learned. This is why memorizing names and dates are a must in high school. For this purpose, high school tests are numerous and for long tests, review sessions are even conducted. In college, application is the focus. You will be given new situations or scenarios where you can apply the theories you have learned. You need to be analytical and highly critical in college because it is the usual way of learning. You need to ask questions after questions, which is why college students often look for supplementary readings that will further explain a theory or any subject matter. College tests are not as frequent like only 2 or 3 per semester. These tests are cumulative, spanning several lessons. Without any review sessions, you need to be well prepared. To ace a test, memorization helps, but more importantly, the ability to apply the lessons or theories in all kinds of situations.
5 Diligence and hard work weighs heavily in high school; but these fine qualities should reflect in results or output to make it good in college.
The mere act of trying hard matters when it comes to grades in high school. This is why every assignment or homework, no matter how short or simple they are, is equivalent to a certain points. This is why a low exam may not affect your average if you pull it up with the subsequent exams. Moreover, you can always ask for extra projects to raise your average. You can also graduate just by passing all subjects even if you only got a D. However, in college, the grading system is much more stringent. It is only the major papers and tests that may have points. The likelihood of having extra credits is in general, non-existent. College students should always be wary of the first tests, which set how the professor measures a student’s performance in class. Failing it may determine your final grade. Moreover, you may only graduate if you meet the departmental requirement, which is often a grade of 2.0 or a C. Though hard work is always rewarded even in college, results or output is still the primary measure of determining your grade.
In a nutshell…
Now that we have established the difference between high school and college, it is no wonder then that freshman students find themselves having a hard time adjusting to college life. Making that transition requires a lot of preparation so it is to your advantage to do some bit of reading, finding out what the other students are saying and learning valuable tips on those with first-hand experience.