The transition from high school to college is an arduous one. Students have to get used to being on their own and have more responsibilities than ever before. The workload is only the first of many differences between being a senior in high school and a freshman in college. Along with an increase in workload, students are also forced to learn proper time management skills such as how to juggle a job, school, all while maintaining a social life. The transition from a high school student to a college student begins the second they open the door into what looks like another world. There is no aspect of familiarity, no point of reference for students. There are no individual desks or familiar faces to give them the feeling of security that one feels going back to high school each year. The first day of high school always included some kind of icebreaker where students were forced to state their name and an “interesting fact” about themselves in hopes of helping other students to remember their name. In college, no one cares what one’s name is or that they have 3 hamsters at home.
Professors are more concerned with getting down to business and teaching the scheduled material on the very first day of class. Students are forced into a whirlwind of unfamiliarity and they either sink or swim. The decision is theirs. Generally speaking, a high school student can expect to be free of homework for the first two weeks of high school. However, students do not get so lucky in college. One can expect a paper and group project, as well as a syllabus quiz to be given within the first class period. In addition to assigned papers and syllabus quizzes, it is up to students to complete textbook readings, of 20+ pages before coming to class and to be prepared to be given a pop quiz if necessary. It is common for first year college students to feel lost and overwhelmed, inundated in papers and assignments, often questioning how they will make it through the semester. Above all, students are forced to learn how to better manage their time. There is no more daydreaming or depending on classmates to help with in-class and take-home assignments.
What used to be so easy in high school is not so easy in college. There are no more seven-hour school days planned out by guidance counselors with help from a computer program. Schedules are no longer handed out in homeroom on the first day of classes, instead it is the student’s job to pick the classes they want to take and come up with a perfectly crafted schedule that fits into their already busy schedule. It’s up to the scholar to decide when to eat lunch, when to study, and when they can fit a job into their schedule. In college, students are given more freedom when it comes to their schedule, but it is easy to find comfort in that cookie cutter schedule that is given in high school. The real world can be a scary place for a first year college student. In sum, the transition from high school to college is a challenging one. It is not easy to be pushed out into the real world, completely submersed in _____. Although it may be tough at times, this transition is a crucial one in the process of growing up. The lessons learned within the first year of college are ones that can be taken and applied later on in life.