Transitioning from high school to college is an exciting and daunting experience. Fortunately, you have already learned many of the academic and social skills you will use to succeed in college, but there are a few fundamental differences. A successful college career requires time management, self-discipline, communication and accountability. You will learn about what best works for you as you go, especially in the first six to eight weeks of the fall semester, which is when you will form study habits, establish a routine, develop friendships and get involved on campus. Understanding the differences between high school and college is an important first step in going to college.
|Personal freedoms||Parents and teachers often guide you in the decision-making process and remind you of certain rules, expectations and responsibilities.||You make your own ethical/moral decisions, you are responsible for your own actions and held accountable for violating policies and rules. Of course, you still have a support system - HRL staff and others - waiting to help.|
|Social life||A parent or parent figure often monitors your social life. You probably had a curfew and needed permission to attend certain events. Until age 18, you are considered juveniles.||You manage your own time, you pick your own activities and attend any event you want to attend. Students 18 and older have legal and college-instituted consequences for infractions, and it’s your responsibility to learn the rules.|
|Instruction||Teachers relay information directly during class. Out-of-class readings and assignments are discussed in class to help you understand and connect basic facts with complex concepts. A teacher may approach you if you are failing.||Professors have expertise in particular disciplines, and they assume you will take comprehensive notes during class lectures, use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to understand, synthesize and apply complex concepts. You are expected to take responsibility for learning and applying the material. You are expected to self-monitor your progress. Help is available if you just ask. Your RA, ACRL, CRL, TA and professors are great resources.|
|Testing||Teachers often hold review sessions, test often throughout the academic period and rearrange test dates to avoid conflict with school events. Test preparation often requires students to memorize facts/formulas and to have a basic understanding of their applications.||Most professors do not have review sessions or rearrange test dates. Testing can be infrequent and cover lots of material. Professors expect you to analyze and apply information in complex ways that show they have mastered the material, not just memorized it. Often, you must integrate material presented through lectures, readings and assignments. Faculty members do offer office hours and you can also join a study group.|
|Grading||Homework and extra credit assignments are often offered to boost grades.||Tests, major papers, presentations and projects weigh heavily in a class grade. If you feel like you are falling behind, get help directly from your professor.|