How College Is Different from High School

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High School vs. College: Being a First-Year Student/Orientation Being a first-year student is fun! Unlike high school, where your first year is usually filled with anxiety and the occasional wrong-classroom mishap, colleges prepare first-year students with an orientation that builds a strong bond among class members. Many colleges offer additional early orientation programs (usually a camping trip or gathering hosted in a nearby city) to foster relationships before the school year even begins. Attend as many orientations options as possible. It will make your college transition easier if you already have bonds with your classmates. Once orientation is over and the upper-class students are back on campus, you will find that they are excited to meet the first-year students, and you become very comfortable in the college setting very quickly.

High School vs. College: The Learning Environment
Get used to saying "Professor" or "Dr." Your teachers are no longer Mr. or Ms. Brown, but Professor or Dr. Brown, and guess what? You are expected to have an opinion! You are no longer a passive learner who just sits and listens to a teacher, occasionally writes a paper, and takes a test in which you are expected to simply reiterate what you have learned or been told by the teacher. You will not be provided with notes; rather, you are expected to figure out on your own what's important. (Professors are available during their office hours for help if what's important is ever unclear.) In college your professors are expecting you to voice your thoughts, and disagreeing with the professor's opinion is considered an interesting debate, not deviant behavior. Class participation and providing your own perspective and analysis are key to success in the college learning environment.
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