Professor Valerie Woodward
28 March 2015
High School vs. College
What advice would I give to a high school student entering college? Some people think that making a change from high school to college is a simple process. For instance, college is more complicated than high school. I had been told many times that college would be difficult and that it would be much harder than I could ever imagine. All my high school teachers would advise me to avoid cramming because it would be in vain and there was no way I would retain any knowledge. If I had to give a future college student advice about entering college for the first time, I would tell them the following: choose a good major, stay organized, and good study habits.
Choosing a good major can be overwhelming. Many schools offer hundreds of choices, and it is a challenge to pick one when it feels like the rest of a student’s adult life is riding on that choice. It is a big commitment, but it's not a life sentence: Many college graduates pursue careers that aren't directly related to their majors, or change careers after several years. That said, a student will spend a lot of time studying whatever subject they choose, and there are a lot of choices to consider before they commit. In high school, most of the classes are assigned and supplied with many of the classroom materials. Students have a counselor telling them which courses to take and when. Some students enter college thinking that they can just take random classes their first year until they figure out what they want to major in and think that they will graduate on time. These are the students who take more than five years to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. In college, it is the student’s responsibility to sign up for the classes they need to take to graduate and they are responsible for buying all class materials.
Staying organized can be the difference between success and failure in college. For many, college is the first time for people to be away from parents and living on their own. No one is there to give friendly reminders to do homework, study for that test, and pay bills. By this point, many students have developed their own methods of staying organized; get a planner, read the syllabus, keep separate notebooks, folders and binders for every class. High school teachers are more helpful to their students than college professors. High school teachers make sure they knew the name and a few important things about the student. They checked grades and attendance, provided with notes when they missed class, and remind them of upcoming assignments and tests. High school teachers allow students to turn in make-up work when there absent and checked in with the parents about any missing work and absences. Many college professors don’t take attendance or have the time to make sure all of their students are making passing grades in all of their courses. If a student misses a class, they need to plan on getting notes from a classmate. When a student attends a large college or university, professors won’t even try to remember their name, as they have hundreds of students each semester. If an assignment was due on a day they decided to miss class, there’s a good chance there professor will not let them turn it in late. The students are responsible for remembering important deadlines, as their parents will not be communicating with their professors, and will have no idea when their assignments are due. If a student needs one-on-one time with their professor, they won’t be able to hang around after class like in high school; they will have to make an appointment during his or her office hours or correspond with him or her through email.
Good study habits are all about keeping to a daily routine and giving all subjects equal treatments. Hard work and good study…