Essay College Life Vs School Life

It is a known fact that the worlds of high school and college are different from one another. There are parallels that can be drawn between the two. From childhood to adulthood, high school allows one to gain sense of what it will be like to be an adult.

College on the other hand allows one to take complete ownership of one’s time and responsibility of who one wants to become. If one is able to stay on track of the goal, being able to manage time and balance things, college is one of the most fun places to be present in.

One of the biggest changes is the amount of freedom coupled with much more responsibility. When one reaches their 30’s they are likely to look back at their college experience and wish they could do it all over again. Once in college there is no such thing as “un-cool”.

The Differences between High School and College are:

Being a First-Year Student:

Unlike high school where one is usually filled with anxiety, college prepares students with the orientation that builds a strong bond among class members. Many colleges offer additional orientation programs to foster relationships and make the transition easier from one life to the other.

Learning Environment:

Once in college one needs to address their teachers as either Professor or Dr., the Mr. or Ms. takes a back seat. One is expected to have an opinion on everything. One is no longer a passive learner who just sits and listens to a teacher and occasionally says things. One is expected to find out on their own what is important. Class participation and perspective along with analysis are the keys to success in the college learning environment.

One’s Social Life:

This is a balance that one can no longer rely on their parents for. All is now in one’s own hand. Being at college can be socially overwhelming. It is great to explore new surroundings and take advantage of social opportunities, it is also important to take time out for the actual job on hand, studies.



At High School level roommates are felt like an infringement to privacy but the first few weeks of college can be a lonely time because of being in a new place and surroundings. A roommate can be great company since they help adapt to the place. They can be banked upon in times of need and can share the costs of college life.



Cultural Transition:

If one is anywhere other than a big city most of the friends are similar to the person. Until one gets to college it rarely occurs that life could be different. There is a quick transition to the fact that “normal” simply does not exist. One of the best things about college is the fact that one gets the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of cultures. It is a multicultural environment which one may not get an opportunity to have access to again.

It is a transition which when enjoyed can give some of the best moments in people’s lives. It is about accepting the change and enjoying every bit of it.

Picture Courtesy: My India Business School

A lot of college freshers think of college as just another three or four years of school – but they couldn’t be more wrong.

There are so many differences between secondary school and college, and these differences make college more enjoyable than school ever was.

All grown up

Firstly, in college, you’re seen as an adult, so therefore you will be treated like an adult.

There is no writing letters home to your parents telling them your homework isn’t done or you were talking in class – and no detention.

You will even find that your parents will begin treating you like an adult when you begin college.

Could you imagine your parents letting you go on a night out on a school night, even if you were 18? I doubt it, but you’ll be amazed that they won’t mind you going out midweek, as long as you promise to go to college the following morning.

No more Mammy

For a lot of college freshers, going to college also means moving away from home, meaning you have to become more independent.

Mammy won’t be waking you up in time for class and there will be no lunch waiting for you before you leave. However, living alone is also a plus because it means a bit of freedom, and a lot of partying.

Free time

Unlike school, college isn’t nine to four, five days a week. In fact, in some cases you’re not even in college five days a week. You could also be in at different times each day, nine to one on a Monday or two-to-five on a Friday, it depends on the course.

There is no set lunchtime in college either – you just eat lunch whenever you have a break between lectures, if you even have a break at lunch.

Nice change

Another difference is that after Christmas, you are guaranteed to have a different timetable to before Christmas. These are known as Semester One and Semester Two.

For most of you, you began secondary school with a lot of your childhood friends, but you are more than likely not to know anybody in your class. Also, unlike school, which is in your local area, people come to college from all over the country, so you are going to make friends with a wide range of people from different counties.

In regards to going to classes, unlike school where you had to be in each class or you were in serious trouble, you don’t actually HAVE to attend lectures, unless you want to pass the module that is.

A lot of lecturers will take attendance and sometimes they can use that towards your final grade, so unless you have a valid excuse, try not to miss lectures too much.

There is no ‘homework’ in college either (so to speak).

You will get set assignments that will have to be completed by a certain time, and these will go towards your final grade in that module, but it is nothing like the homework that you got in school.


One downfall to college is that like school, there are Christmas and summer exams in college, but these exams are more serious in college as they will determine whether or not you will make it in to the following year of your course, while in school it only determines what class you will be in the following year.

Personally the most important difference between college and is that there is no uniform, however this can be a pain, for the girls especially, when you are late for class because you couldn’t decide what to wear.

Don’t use these differences as an excuse to take a more laid back approach to college: you’re going to be treated as an adult so act like one.

Ah, well

Remember, this is going to determine the rest of your life, so work hard at it and take it seriously – all while having fun of course.

After all, your college years are said to be the best years of your life.

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