5 Differences Between High School and College

5 Differences Between High School and College

When preparing your voyage from high school to college, it is usually easy to brush it off as just some more school in a different setting. The only change most students acknowledge is the social party aspect outside of the classroom. I’m here to tell you that this is far from the truth. College is nothing like high school, and the transition to college can be more than some students prepared for. Keep these topics in mind when preparing yourself to step on campus.


From birth to graduation we are always hounded by our family on where we are, what we are doing, and what our plan is. For most of us, this will change when you go to college, and the freedom that results can be liberating. Always being able to do what you want is a large step, which can also sometimes lead to some unwelcome trouble. Use your freedom to build your reputation, don’t destroy it.


Your studying habits are about to change. In high school we always could get away with studying the night before an exam. Once you’re enrolled in a college class, prepare to be in the library most of your finals week, because the material covered is immense. Course loads, projects, and class are all head and shoulders above what was experienced during your time in high school.

Being yourself

Remember when you always worried what everyone thought? When you weren’t “cool” to others? Maybe when you never had friends to go to? College becomes an environment for people with all sorts of interests. Everyone has a place, it’s just up to you to find out who you want to be. Once you make it to college, there is no more worrying what people think, because everyone is way more tolerant of the differences between everyone. Just be yourself!


One of the most noticeable differences between college and high school is in the area of finances. Most of us have always used our parents as our financial crutch for the duration of our lives. For the lucky few, this will continue into their further education. The reality is that outside the comfort of your childhood home, the world becomes expensive. You begin to learn the value of a dollar, which makes you eager to find a job to support yourself. All of a sudden the plans you had for going out every night, all night, become only a once in a while occasion.


High school is a very structured setting in terms of classes and scheduling. While transitioning to college, you begin to realize all the available options that are in store. There are classes on everything, and at so many times during the day. Scheduling classes becomes a freelance puzzle that you can fill with your particular interests. High school is a static, boring, and frankly, repetitive, course load. Although there is more work to be done on campus, most of the time it doesn’t seem like it since you are usually studying what interests you!

The differences may shock the average student upon arrival, but there is nothing better than going to college for the first time. Find the college that suits you, and prepare for the best four (or more) years of your life.