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The Differences Between High School and College

The Differences Between High School and College

If college sounds pretty great, that's because it is.

Elizabeth Hoyt

February 28, 2013

Everyone knows that the worlds of high school and college couldn’t be further apart. But, what parallels can be drawn between the two?

From childhood to adulthood, high school allows you to gain a sense of what it will be like to be an adult whereas college allows you to fully take ownership of your time, responsibilities and who you want to become.

As long as you’re able to stay on track of the goal at hand, i.e. getting marvelous grades, keeping a smart schedule and studying like crazy, you’ll be just fine. In college, balance is the key. Work a lot, have a little fun.

If it sounds pretty great, that’s because it is.

Here are some comparisons that you probably experienced when you transitioned into college life:

  1. In high school you know everyone in your class.
    In college, you’re lucky to know one person in your class.

  2. High school books are provided are little to no cost.
    College textbooks cost a small fortune.

  3. You have to live with your parents in high school.
    You get to live with your friends in college.

  4. You wake up early in the morning for class in high school.
    You wake up whenever you schedule your first class (or whenever you want) in college.

  5. In high school, you were forced to learn all subjects.
    In college, you get to learn whatever you want to.

  6. In high school, your time and schedule are dictated by others.
    In college, you take back ownership of time management.

  7. In high school teachers read from the textbook they use.
    In college, professors refer to the textbooks they wrote.

  8. In high school, you studied before a test.
    In college, the library becomes your home away from home.

  9. In high school, you wrote notes to friends.
    In college, you take notes for yourself.

  10. In high school, you could finish all your homework in one night.
    In college, that’s nearly impossible.

  11. In high school, you have a full day of classes.
    In college, you plan your schedule to your liking.

  12. In high school, you’re stuck with a social hierarchy.
    In college, you get to choose who you spend time around.

  13. In high school, assigned reading means a night off from homework.
    In college, you actually need to do the reading.

  14. In high school, everyone is required to be there.
    In college, everyone wants to be there.

  15. In high school, you worried about what “looked” cool.
    In college, you’re too busy to care what other people think.

  16. In high school, you’re stuck in a social “role” that others cast you in.
    In college, you can be whoever you want to be.

  17. In high school, you have adults telling you what’s expected of you.
    In college, it’s just expected.

  18. In high school, teachers gear classes towards average learners.
    In college, average is the bare (emphasis on bare) minimum.

  19. High school attendance is mandatory.
    College attendance is (strongly) suggested.

  20. In high school, you had a curfew.
    In college, you need to use judgment on what you have time to do.

What are some differences between high school and college that you’d add to the list?