Reaching the end of high school can be extremely daunting. At this time, everyone starts to question how to survive in college and how to succeed in a university. The reality is that there are some drastic changes and differences between the college and high school setting. There is no doubt that your lifestyle and habits will change to match your new learning environment. However, there is no need to worry about these differences and changes. For the most part, students really enjoy the changes that happen as they move-in and start college classes. And to make the transition between schools even more comfortable, we have outlined the main differences that exist between high school and college.
Larger campus and larger classes
The first one is an apparent but significant one to comprehend: the increase in size. Entering college means you are entering a school with thousands of students from all over the country and world. And as expected, there has to be enough space for so many students. Therefore, the college campus itself will more than likely be a lot larger than the size of your previous school. With this comes bigger class sizes as well as larger lecture halls and classrooms. Upon initially starting school, the size can really add to your sense of overwhelming. You may feel lost or confused at first, but be sure that after a week or two, you will have mastered and memorized your entire college campus.
The increase in independence is always a common talking point when it comes to adapting to the changes in college; nonetheless, it is a critical one to keep in mind. While at a university, independence comes in many different ways. For once, if you decide to move away from home for college, then you will obtain the freedom of living on your own. Living on your own entails being fully independent when it comes to cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, and more. You will have to learn to balance these things while keeping up your studies and social life. Independence also comes in the form of your lifestyle. Not living with anyone else means that you are pretty much free to go out and do as you please. Whether it is hanging out with friends or spending all night at the library studying, you will be able to do things without having the responsibility to ask for permission. Lastly, you have independence when it comes to your academics as well. For the most part, attending lectures or classes in college is not always mandatory. It is up to you whether you want to take the time to get up and attend class in person. Although this decision is entirely up to you, I highly recommend that you choose to attend classes every day.
Greater amount of spare time
Free time is yet another drastic change in college. As soon as you begin your first few days of class, you will instantly notice the drastic increase in the spare time that you have. It is very common for classes to begin at around 9 in the morning and end at about 1 or 2 in the afternoon, leaving you most of the day free. This is why time management is such an important thing in college. If you are not careful, you will likely spend most of the day without doing anything useful or getting any homework done. However, it is crucial to dedicate some of this free time to yourself as well. College and classes can be very overwhelming and stressful, so do not feel guilty about using some of this free time to catch up on sleep or participate in an activity that you like.
Your coursework and schedule
As you get accustomed to your college classes and schedule, you will feel the change in coursework and responsibilities. One of the main differences regarding college is that your class schedule will be entirely up to you. You will be the one choosing which classes you want to take, how many credits you would like to take, and at what times you would like to take them. Similarly, in college, you are a bit more on your own when it comes to assignments and deadlines. Many professors do not always remind you of upcoming projects or exams. For this reason, it is imperative to keep an eye out for the class syllabus that each professor gives you. These documents or files are definitely lifesavers as they will help you plan out your entire semester and be prepared. In college, it is very easy to forget the date of an upcoming assignment or exam; therefore, it is always a good idea to have the syllabus at hand to be constantly reminded.
Increase in expenses
Entering college will cause your monthly and yearly expenses to increase quite a bit, especially if you move away from home. Being away from home calls for money to be spent on transportation, dorm room essentials, and personal necessities. And of course, there are always the costs that come with any college or university, such as tuition, general fees, and more. In addition to all of this, you will also have to incur additional expenses with course materials. Often, you will have to continually be purchasing textbooks or software for specific classes every semester. And these books and supplies are often very costly, thus drastically increasing your expenses every semester.
The earlier you know these differences between high school and college, the more prepared and better off you will be as a college student. If any of these changes seem overwhelming to you, do not worry at all, you will have the opportunity to master them and prepare as your high school years slowly come to an end. Every college student has been able to master these, and you will too. For now, focus on the university that you would like to attend, and the rest will come a lot easier now that you have some expertise in the area.