What’s the difference between high school and college?

Embarking on a college career is exciting, but it’s important to remember the biggest difference between high school and college:

In college, you’re on your own.

In addition to providing an education, college, serves as a transition between adolescence and adulthood and offers priceless opportunities during those transitory years. If you keep the following tips in mind, you can start ahead of the curve.

College Provides Rich Experiences

College is an important time in one’s life, not just for studies but also for growing as individuals, making friends, developing teamwork skills, and so much more. Being able to set the groundwork for the future within a college community gives a student the time to create a college career that comes with both success and cherished memories.

As students sharpen their interests and talents, they can join related clubs and groups and volunteer for projects. The opportunities afforded by these connections can sometimes mean overseas trips featuring once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Students can even study abroad for weeks or months at a time.

New Room, New Home

In high school, students live at home with their families, but in college, they tend to live in a dorm, usually with people who start out as strangers. If you don’t already have a roommate, you can often find out who you’re assigned to room with and can get to know that person ahead of time to streamline the moving-in experience. You could even come up with a cool dorm decorating plan.

Once the school year begins, students will interact with others, forming groups of friends and acquaintances and planning activities. Years later, you may look back on these years as fond memories of the beginning of deep friendships.

Watching Your Wallet

Whether students pay for college, get student loans, or qualify for financial aid, they can also take steps to save money in their college years. They can work part-time in campus jobs that will benefit their degrees. Health-conscious and thrifty students can make simple meals in dorm rooms or apartments. Used textbooks or digital versions can mean big savings.

You can have fun in college without spending a lot. Parks, free museums, art galleries, and community events are among the freebies, along with plenty of activities right on campus. Often, on-campus concerts, plays, and other paid events are free with a student ID.

Assume Responsibilities

In college, students must make more life decisions than they did in high school, thus developing more responsibility. More is expected from them, with less oversight by parents and teachers, which can be challenging.

As a college student, you need to balance friends, schedules, studying, and other class-related responsibilities. You can prepare for the responsibilities of college while still in high school by talking with college students and doing research on what to expect.

You may need to take big steps to keep yourself organized: commit to an online calendar, use organizational apps, and find quiet areas to study and work.

Being mentally prepared for the difference between college and high school will help you make a smooth transition. If you prepare yourself for the fact that you’re mostly on your own, you can approach campus life like a pro.

Elrick, Lauren. “Rasmussen College.” Rasmussen College – Regionally Accredited College Online and on Campus. Web. 19 Feb. 2018.