As I was looking back on my transition from high school to college, I thought of a few things that have definitely changed. Here are just a few of the things you have to look forward to!
6 Important Differences Between High School and College
1. Your roommate won’t wake you up if you’re late for class. I don’t know about any of you, but my mom was my only alarm clock in high school. It wasn’t until college that I learned the inconvenience of setting an alarm at night. Or even worse, waking up to an alarm in the morning. Once you discover the snooze button, life is a little more dangerous. Your roommate most likely won’t have the same schedule as you so it is now up to you to get up and go to class all on your own. 8 a.m. classes are not uncommon as an underclassman (or upperclassman to be honest), so don’t expect anyone to be responsible for getting you up besides you. Goodbye “5 more minutes.”
2. Professors won’t hunt you down for late assignments. Not once in my three years of college has a professor asked me why I didn’t hand in an assignment. Neither have they taken the responsibility to fill me in on what I missed in class. These are now your responsibilities, and even though most professors will respond positively if you go to them for help, it is no longer their job to nag the work out of you. Sensing a pattern here?
3. Friends are everywhere! High school is notorious for cliques and small friend groups. That is not the case in college, which is AWESOME! There is no history in college before a first meeting and you’ll find that people you would have shied away from in high school are the people you get along with the most in college. Making friends is so much easier when there are so many options so close. Don’t think you have to be friends with everyone, but I recommend trying to be friendly to most. Join clubs or sports you are interested in, talk to the kid next to you in class or just look around at the people you’re living with. My best friends to this day are people I met in Maple Hall my freshman year. What I’m trying to say is, your high school friends will have nothing on your college friends.
4. There is no appropriate bedtime. In high school I went to bed by 10 p.m. every night because I was so exhausted from 6 hours of school, practice and homework. My freshman year of college it was unusual to see me in bed before 1 or 2 a.m. The secret behind that crazy lifestyle. Naps. Naps are your best friend in college and take advantage of them. You won’t get this kind of free time again until your retired.
5. No standardized tests. The New York State Regents were the reason for many of my teenage nightmares. Luckily for you, once you’re in college things like that are nonexistent (unless of course you go on to grad school). Professors now also get to teach you the material they want to, not the material you need to pass the test. They make the tests, so they can always tweak the questions based on each class. So no more stressing over those scary scantrons in a room of 500 people. Most likely you will be assigned more papers and projects, depending on your major, anyway.
6. Opportunities are more frequent and more exciting. In college, everything you do can potentially become a grant, internship or job. There are ways to make money all over campus and beyond. In college it’s not unusual to find yourself with 3 jobs and wanting more. Opportunities are knocking at every door and now is the time to jump on them. You can now choose what to do with your time, which is probably the biggest difference between high school and college. It’s all about you.