Before joining university or college, many students wonder about the difference between high school and college life.
Is it more fun in college or does the pressure increase? Will I finally be free to do what I want or is it a trap? But before I answer those questions for you, let me admit; High school was such an adventure.
I mean, being called a mono, cleaning floors, tables and wearing shorts for some, in form 1 and getting rowdy, unruly and sleeping a lot in form 2.
Then cladding hot for all manner of functions and writing mails during preps in form 3 and finally asking form ones to wash your clothes in form 4 so that you can ‘read’ for the big exam, are just but a few of the indelible memories.
Well if you’re just about to join university, then be prepared for a much more memorable ride. Be ready to be your best and worst, get sober and crazy and learn through easy and hard ways.
Here are some of the differences between high school and college.
1. Freedom in college, timetables in high school
College is defined by freedom. You are in charge of yourself in all aspects of life. You can wake up at any time, attend lessons that you feel like, eat whatever your desire and have fun in accordance with you.
Gone are the days when your every move was guided by a teacher or school prefect. Choices are what you make most in college and you’re gonna make lots of bad choices. But they’ll worth a life lesson if you get out alive.
Before starting your college journey, learn how you will balance your academics, responsibilities and social life.
2. More freedom for expression in college compared to high school
Most high schools in Kenya are not cooed. So, for four years, teenagers are forced to suppress their need to associate with the opposite sex.
Funkies and holidays give them the only chance to mingle but they still can’t express themselves fully.
Coming to college, they finally get a chance and the pent-up feelings erupt in the process of self-expression.
Relationships are mundane issues in college, a place where people walk around holding hands and waists. Youths pursue love, lust, and fantasies only limited by their imaginations.
You will get influenced by pees but principles can keep you focused on your goals. Also, relationships are bad; companionship between two people who know what they want might just be what they need to succeed.
3. Free pocket money in high school, real hustle in college
I remember the calls I used to make with my parents every weekend asking for pocket money and just wish I had that luxury while in college.
High school was easy, especially when it comes to money. Parents had the responsibility to make you comfortable in school so that you can concentrate on your studies.
In college, it’s different. If lucky, you are given a certain amount of money at the beginning of a month to cater for rent and food. The rest is your business to mind.
Sometimes your guardians won’t afford to fully pay for your fees. Also, you will need money to buy stuff and access services not forgetting to have fun. Considering all these needs, you find the absolute need to hustle.
4. 60 percent in high school vs 90 percent in college
If you found it hard to study in high school, with all the pressure applied by the teachers and the many hours set apart for study then you are in for a ride.
The college system believes that you have a bigger responsibility to educate yourself and hence more hours are allocated for you rather than the lecturer.
You do 90 percent of the work while in college as compared to about 60 percent in high school.
Statistically speaking, an engineering undergraduate has 7-12 lectures a week, each taking 2-3 hours which comes to a maximum of 36 hours. Most of these lectures aren’t even attended.
For a week that has 168 hours and assuming 8 hours-night-sleeps, a comrade has a minimum of 76 hours to him or herself. How you use this time is what sets you apart.
Time management and keeping your priorities right are two strategies that can get you smoothly maneuvering the turbulence of college studies.
5. Lots of fun in college compared to high school
Due to freedom, there is too much fun in campus. There are parties every single day and events are unbelievably many. Course mates hold small soccer leagues and picnics whenever they feel like and others go out on dates on a daily basis.
On the contrary, in high school, we had timetables in place to guide the multitude and any freethinker motives were thwarted at the very instance of notice.
With too much fun, however, many students tend to lose focus. Only those who can keep their priorities right can succeed in this environment of inviting distractions and time-wasters.