5 Ways That Colleges Are Different From High Schools

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Before starting your college education, there are many things you need to prepare. These include choosing the academic path you want to take and ensuring that you qualify for your chosen university. 

You’ll also need to anticipate a lot of things so you can prepare accordingly. For example, if you’ve chosen a university far from home, you must already be imagining how to live by yourself. As such, you are already preparing to make independent decisions and ensure you can satisfy your needs. 

At the fundamental level, the first thing you’ll need to consider is how colleges might differ from high schools. As excited as you are for a fully independent life, know how the two educational institutions can help you prepare. So, here are the top five ways colleges are different from high schools.

1. You are responsible for yourself.

One of the many differences between high school and college is the extent to which you are responsible for yourself. While high school already teaches about the importance of understanding your accountabilities and responsibilities, the college put these learnings into practice. Here, you will be solely responsible for many things, ranging from academic to personal to financial to social responsibilities. 

During high school, your parents or guardians are responsible for you. Say your grades are slipping. In this case, your teacher will most likely reach out to them for intervention. 

Besides your academic responsibilities, you’ll also need to keep track of your personal and social life. While going to college gives you the freedom to live alone, doing so also demands you to manage all aspects of your life. Your parents won’t tell you when you can go out and meet friends, and when you can go home. They won’t be there either to nag you on doing your chores and having a healthy lifestyle. As depressing as these may sound, these are excellent preparation for more complex responsibilities in your adult life. 

2. Classes are fast-paced.

In high school, you’ll have the entire school year to finish a class. This includes attending classes, submitting assignments, and receiving frequent feedback from your teachers.

A class only takes a semester in college, which is less than half one high school academic year. It means you’ll have less time to learn more course materials. On top of that, you’ll even have less time to submit course requirements. 

With how fast-paced classes are in college, you will have the ideal chance to master time management. As you’ll be juggling several courses, all of which are essential to achieve your degree, you’ll learn how to prioritize tasks and use your time effectively. 

Fortunately, colleges and universities understand how time-pressured students are, thus, offer multiple study support programs. If you’re struggling with a subject but have little time outside class for self-study, there are subject tutors you can ask for help. 

Plus, looking for resources won’t take so much time as universities have extensive libraries and online portals for the information you might need in your studies. Also, if you want to attend colleges for free, you can try to apply for these full-ride awards. 

3. You need to set your schedule.

In high school, class schedules are predetermined, and you only have to follow these. There are specific times when your class starts and ends when you can take your lunch and when you can go home. You’ll only have to sort out your outside-school routine and extra-curricular activities. Moreover, you have your parents, guardian, teachers, and advisors to help you meet appointments and, basically, get a load of setting schedules off your shoulders. 

On the other hand, college demands you set your schedule independently. From choosing your classes to joining student clubs and meeting your professors, everything requires how you manage your time. 

On top of your school responsibilities, you also need to set time aside for chores and meeting friends. You might even need to work to help with your finances. Juggling all these responsibilities can be challenging. 

Yet, going through this challenge can teach you valuable lifelong skills, such as managing time, goal-setting, discipline, and good work ethics. 

4. You have greater chances to meet new people.

College gives you more significant opportunities to meet new people. You will attend classes in a lecture hall seating with approximately a hundred students.. You might not even see some of these students in your other courses. Thus you’ll see more new faces in the next class. 

Besides the lecture halls, you can also acquaint yourself with new people through clubs and study groups. These people are not necessarily your classmates nor have the same major as you do. And even if you chose the same university as your high school friend, you’ll most likely end up attending different classes if you chose a varying program. 

Universities and colleges typically enroll over a thousand students. With such a population size, meeting new people is even more possible as you explore the campus.

Taking part-time jobs also provides you opportunities to socialize. Besides the usual college students, you will get to meet professionals and other city dwellers. 

The freedom and autonomy you have in college can give you the confidence to enter new social environments, and ultimately, meet new people. 

5. It can be costly. 

While public high schools offer free education, you might not have the same opportunity when you go to college. College education can be costly, mainly if you haven’t applied and been awarded any scholarships. 

There is no standard amount when paying tuition, as it depends on many factors. The main contributors to tuition costs are your chosen program and university. Even the cost of living in the city you chose to study in may affect your tuition expenses. 

Besides the tuition costs, you’ll need to pay for books, housing, and meals. Of course, there are other essentials you’ll need to provide for a college education, such as computers and gadgets, internet access, and personal necessities. Meeting friends and acquaintances do not come free of charge either, as you need to pay for meals, drinks, and other activities, like going to the movies and sightseeing. 

All these expenses might increase ten-fold if you choose to become an international student. And while you struggle to make ends meet in college, it also teaches you to become more responsible in handling your finances. It is a skill you will most likely need in adulthood as well.  

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