How Is College Different From High School?
Social and Interpersonal Freedom in High School v. College
Download Social transitions (PDF)
|High school is required/mandatory and usually free (unless you choose otherwise).||College is voluntary and expensive.|
|Your time is usually structured by others.||You manage your own time.|
|You need permission to participate in extra-curricular activities (athletics, organizations, clubs, service).||You must decide whether to participate in co-curricular activities. (Hint: Choose wisely in the first semester and then add later).|
|You can count on parents and teachers to remind you of your responsibilities and to guide you in setting priorities.||You must balance your responsibilities and set priorities. You will face moral and ethical decisions you have never faced before.|
|You will usually be told what to do and corrected if your behavior is out of line.||You are expected to take responsibility for what you do and don't do, as well as for the consequences of your decisions.|
|Your parents typically manage finances for all school-related activities.||You are responsible for money management of basic needs and extra spending money. (Hint: Outside jobs or work-study may be necessary and one more "activity" to consider for time management.|
|You usually live with and around family, friends, and neighbors who know you well, and also share similar values, beliefs, and cultural experiences. You may have never shared a private space (bedroom or bathroom) with someone else.||You might live with another person (or 2-3) who you do not know, and must communicate pro-actively with them to understand who they are and what they need.|
How to make the transition to college
Suggested talking points for instructors:
- Take control of your own education - think of yourself as a scholar.
- Get to know your professors; they are your greatest resource. Attend class and seek them out during their office hours.
- Be assertive. Create your own support systems, and seek help when you realize you may need it.
- Take control of your time. Plan ahead to satisfy academic obligations and make room for everything else.
- Take advantage of the Academic Resource Center. There are tutors available for math, writing, and many other subjects.
- Stretch yourself. Enroll in at least one course each semester that really challenges you to think differently!
- Make thoughtful decisions. Don't take a course just to satisfy a requirement, and don't drop any course too quickly.
- Think beyond the moment. Set concrete goals for the semester, the year, and you college career.
- Show up for class! Although attendance may not be taken, absence from class may show disregard and irresponsibility, which are likely to be taken into account at grading time.
- Familiarize yourself with academic program requirements and regularly monitor your progress toward fulfilling them.
- If and when you miss a class you must assume responsibility for obtaining the information delivered.
- Don't wait for your professor to reach out to you; you should assume responsibility to initiate contact. Seek assistance from professors after class and during office hours.