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Similarities and Differences Between High School and College

Sep 08, 2008 706 Words
College is the continuation of our education, transitioning from a lower institution, high school, to a higher institution, college. Many of the things we learned in high school certainly carry over to college, but there are a few differences as well. Understanding these differences, and combining them with the similarities, will make us more successful at a college level. The biggest difference between college and high school is the shift in responsibility from faculty to the student. College has many more demands on the student. It is up to us, as students, to manage our time, probably for the first time in our lives. Even with the advice and consent of an advisor, we are on our own when making our academic decisions. For example, in college we set our schedule, which is much more open and has much more flexibility than classes in high school. We are able to attend classes whenever we wish in most cases. I had some friends who made sure they would not have to get up before 10 AM for their first class. We can take as many classes as we wish, and can lighten or burden our load as much as it suits our convenience or situation. Taking more classes can help us complete the academic requirements faster; but if we take fewer courses, we can concentrate more time and effort on those classes that are hardest for us. Another difference is the level of discourse in college over that in high school. It is assumed that all the basics of a course are mastered, and that we are proficient in them. The teacher coddles the student less and has higher expectations of us. We must be able to understand and engage with the teacher to be successful. College professors expect us to be able to think outside of the box and apply what we learn to new situations. Finally, another difference is cost. The tuition required for college typically exceeds the tuition we would pay for high schools. A lot of times also, the student will be responsible to pay for school, or at least pay a portion of their school fees. Many students take out loans or work to pay for their college. How we manage these differences and integrate them with the familiar aspects from high school will help determine how successful we are. One similarity is the structure of the institutions. Both high school and college have classes to attend and semesters throughout the academic year. These courses are facilitated by teachers and the overall direction is led by head educator. In high school he director is a principal, in college leader is the dean. Both have homework to complete and required courses to pass. Both institutions recognize outstanding achievement by qualifying students for the honor roll or dean’s list. By completing these tasks, we can earn our degrees. We receive our diplomas from high school and our associates or bachelor’s degree from college. Using these degrees, we move on to the next stage in our lives, whether it is higher education or finding a job in our chosen profession. These similarities, coupled with the understanding and successful implementation of the differences, will help make our college experience successful. In college, make up tests, extra credit or handing in late assignments do not exist. We must learn to manage ourselves and our academic career. All the tools we need are given to us from the time we get into high school. The structure and format are similar in both institutions, but in college it is up to the student to make an effort to take responsibility and improve performance. College is a time to learn and adjust to what is expected out of us by the world at large. It is a place to hone our skills and learn new ones, and a place to grow and evolve. We learn to improve on those strengths we achieved during high school and apply them to new opportunities during college. The most important transition from high school to college is to successfully navigate the known and unknown, and apply it to our academic lives. With a lot of hard work, we can be successful at college.

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