High School vs College: understanding the difference
Once one steps off the high school graduation stage, the dynamic of education changes. Enrolling in college is one of the first steps into a student’s future, so it is important to understand the differences between college and high school.
The biggest difference one will see is the freedom. Along with freedom comes responsibility. You’ll be free to make your own schedule, but nobody is going to force you to get up and go every day. This is going to require a lot of self-discipline to get yourself to class, get your work done and study without all the checks and balances you had in high school that pretty much forced you to do those things. Your success depends on your ability to self-regulate.
In high school, students are typically handed their schedule by a guidance counselor. In college, students have academic advisors who advise students on which classes to take, but ultimately the decision of the what and when of a course schedule is up to you.
In general, extracurricular activities allow students to participate in a group or a team of like-minded people, which create a sense of community among a large student body. Joining a club or an athletic team also allow students to be involved in activities that interest them.
In high school, students are offered a limited number of organizations and clubs that are approved by the administration. There are four primary themes found within high school organizations and clubs: community service, career interest, interpersonal dynamics and fundraising.
In college, not only do you have all of those themes, but the number of organizations and clubs that are offered truly represent the student body and their interests – anything from an honor society to the Harry Potter club. Many colleges have close to 100 organizations, clubs and teams to participate in, so students for all walks of life have a place to fit right in.
Unless you moved or changed schools, you probably went to school with more or less the same people for the entire 13 years of school. Our friends from high school are our first best friends, locker buddies, prom dates or our go-to partners for class projects. But after graduation, everyone is pulled into different directions. In high school, you realize who you are becoming.
In college, you will learn who you want to be. College freshmen will make new friends on campus -anywhere from the cafeteria to the tutoring center. Meeting people at your new school will not only boost your social life but will also create several networking opportunities in the future.
In high school, most are obtaining their general education, so there are not many real-world opportunities for students, unless they are enrolled in specific programs.
Many colleges focus on workforce development, which basically is another way for the college to implement hands-on practices into educational programs to better prepare students for the jobs that are available and in demand in the job market. There are also several opportunities for internships, which is a position typically held by a student to gain work experience within a specific field.
There are so many noticeable differences between high school and college. All in all, college is the next step – a big one – to adulthood.