How Studying in College is Different Than High School

5 Ways Studying In College Is WAY Different Than High School

No, it's not easier.


When I was in high school, I heard that college was "so much better" and that classes were easier. I'm not quite sure why I believed that. It's just not true. However, you do have more free time. In my opinion, that's the only way it's "easier." If you're aware of the differences between college and high school exams, it can make all the difference in the world. I wish I had known these things going into my first semester of college.

1. There's a lot less exams, so you have to put a lot more effort into studying for just one test.


Sometimes, classes only have a midterm and a final, so there is less forgiveness and less room to mess up on a test. Invest your time into these exams and your professor (and your grade) will thank you.

2. Exams count for a LOT more of your grade (if you're a good test taker, you're in the clear).


Yeah, I know it's scary at first. In some classes, exams count for all of your grade. In some, it's 70%. Be aware of these changes because in high school, homework and participation were nice ways to cushion your grade. I remember participation being 25% of my grade in high school and a lot of teachers gave me automatic 100% for that category.

3. Office hours are SO useful when you're confused!


Don't be afraid to go to your professor! When taking Calc 2 last semester, I went to my professor's office hours ALL THE TIME. He started expecting me every week by the end of the semester. However, it helped a lot with tough concepts. Most high schools do not have office hours so a lot of students disregard them in college.

4. I don't care what you did in high school. Cramming will NOT work.


It just won't and anyone who tells you differently is lying.

5. Exams are more based on application, rather than memorization of what you have learned in lecture/class.


This is a very important distinction. Application of knowledge requires you to have a more thorough understanding of the material. Just be prepared for these types of questions. If your professor does not provide practice questions, ask him/her for good ways to prepare or online resources.

Going to college is scary; I think that a lot of people build up college in their mind, expecting it to be the best 4 years of their life. And for a lot of people, it is. But, at the end of the day, your classes come first and if you know what to expect, you'll just be that much more prepared.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...


I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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