Obviously, students will experience vast differences going from high school to college. That transition can be a difficult one if they are not prepared for it. Both a student’s academic and social life will be remarkably different. Some of the differences will be easily assimilated, while others may take a while to embrace. The following are a few of the differences students will encounter.
Parent Free: First and foremost, students will be away from their parents, many for the first time. This can be viewed as a lot of fun, but it can create quite a challenge for some. Students will lose the nagging – do your homework, did you eat? . . . Now, students will actually have to do things for themselves such as wake up on time, the all encumbering laundry and much more.
No Hand Holding: In high school, when students struggle their teachers usually try to help by pulling you aside and talking with them. In college, if they are struggling, it is up to the student to ask for help. There is much help available, but it must be asked for, it will not come to them.
Time Management: In high school students spend all day in classes. In college you may spend about 3 hours in class daily. Students must learn to use that time productively if they are going to be able to endure in college.
Class Attendance: Daily attendance is expected in high school; in fact it is part of your total grade. In college it is on the student to attend. No one will give them a wake-up call nor care if they attend. Not attending class can have detrimental effects on their grades though.
Note Taking: Some students are still learning to take notes in high school. Teachers usually tell students exactly what they want them to write down or they follow “the book” closely so they know what information is important. In college, students have to take notes not only on what the professor writes down, but on what they say. Also, students need to take notes on the reading assignments that are usually not discussed in class.
Homework: The expectation in high school is that you turn in the homework and the teacher checks it in. College professors will not be after students to do the reading or any other homework. Students’ grades will suffer the consequences if homework is not done.
Study Time: The amount of time studying in high school will probably not even come close to the amount of time students will need in college. On average colleges classes require two to three hours of homework for every hour of class time. That adds up to at least 30 hours of outside study time per week for a 15 hour class schedule.
Challenging Exams: Test will not be given as frequently as in high school meaning that on one exam the material covered will be much more than students are used to. Students can be tested on assigned reading material that was not covered in class. If a student misses a test, the likelihood of being able to make it up is very low, make-ups are rarely allowed. Many of the tests will not just be on material that is easily memorized; they will include problems that students must apply using the information learn.
Be ready to experience change. It is part of your overall college life and part of growing up.