No matter who you are, going to college is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in life. But before you get too anxious, there are some things you should know about college that your high school teachers might have not prepared you for.
College life definitely has some perks that high school didn’t, but at the same time, these perks can lead to unsuccessful habits if unprepared. So, to help you avoid easy mistakes, we will break down the differences between college and high school.
In college, most of the time teachers don’t take attendance. Perk: you are not obligated to show up. You do have to be self-motivated to go to class, though. If you miss class, make sure you get the notes from a classmate, or go to your teacher during their office hour and ask them if you missed anything important.
In college, your teacher doesn’t care about you as much as your high school teachers did. This is something that many freshmen don’t quite grasp until it is already too late. Because you’re now a college student, you are given higher expectations. You are expected to show up to class on time and turn in your assignments on time, which means there is no running to your teacher at the end of the quarter begging to make up assignments to get a passing grade. Trust me, this will never work.
College offers many different types of classes, so it’s easy to find courses you’re interested in. The downside? This can lead to one taking a bunch of random classes that don’t actually count towards a degree. The way you can prevent this? Go to your advisor and ask for a Degree Audit form and Educational Planning Worksheet, which maps out all the classes you can take that go towards the degree or career you are thinking of pursuing. My suggestion is to use the 2011-2012 course catalogues and look up all the classes that sound interesting ahead of time. That way the rest of your year will be stress-free when it’s time to sign up for classes at the new quarter.
Also in college, you are able to add and drop classes. A benefit of this is that if you are unsure about a class or if you think you won’t have enough time for it, you are able to test it out for a couple days and, if needed, drop the class. But before doing so, make sure you have a back-up class so that you don’t lose any credits. And do it quickly, so that the school can refund your tuition.
The course load in college is a lot heavier than in high school. Like some teachers will remind you, for every hour you are in class, you should spend two hours outside of class studying. Most of the time this is true. But before you freak out, remember that you have plenty of free time to get your work done.
Another suggestion that might make your life easier is to take an interdisciplinary class which combines different courses into one ten credit or more class. For example, I took the Philosophy of Love, which gave me a philosophy credit as well as an English 101 credit.
College also allows you to be more independent so you can plan classes around your own schedule instead of the other way. You only need 12 credits to be a full-time student, which usually equals about three classes. This is one of the great things about college because you are able to have other interests and hobbies outside of school that won’t get in the way.
Although it may seem that high school has some perks that college doesn’t (like your parents paying for lunch), college is, for the most part, a wonderful experience that will really push you socially and mentally, and, in the end, make you a better person.