Deciding to go to college is an important decision in your life. Getting admitted to college is a significant accomplishment. Succeeding in college is an even more significant accomplishment.
There are many differences between high school and college. Because of the differences, students often find the transition from high school to college to be very challenging. In fact, one out of every three students who enter college does not complete his or her freshman year.
Here are some of the important differences between high school and college that can make a successful transition difficult. For each, you will find suggestions to help you successfully handle the difference.
- The academic work in college is more difficult than it is in high school. This means that you will have to work both harder and longer. High school students typically study 2 to 3 hours a week for each class. For each college class, you will probably need to study 2 to 3 hours for each class hour. Since most college classes meet for 3 hours a week, you will have to study 3 times as much in college than you did in high school. Be prepared to take on this commitment.
- In high school you are required to attend every class session. This is often not the case in college classes. Many college teachers don't take attendance. It will be easy for you to find things you would rather do than go to class. Don't give in to temptation. Students who attend and participate in classes on a regular basis get higher grades than students who don't. Make every effort to attend every class session.
- You are going to have to be an independent learner in college. High school teachers often check to see that you are doing your assignments and readings. College teachers simply expect you to do these things. It is up to you to make sure that you do.
- Your schedule of classes in college will be more spread out than your classes in high school. High school classes typically meet daily. College classes meet 2 to 3 times a week, and some even meet just once a week. It is very important for you to carefully manage the time in between classes. Creating and sticking to a study schedule is crucial.
- Tests in high school classes are often given frequently and cover a small amount of information. Tests in college classes are given less frequently and cover a great deal of information. Sometimes the only test is the final exam. Make-up tests are rarely given in college, and you usually cannot raise a low score by doing extra credit work. To do well on tests in college, you must take good notes in class and from your textbooks. You should also have a good strategy for taking tests.
College is not simply a continuation of high school. It is a new experience that requires you to approach success in new ways right from day one.