The transition from high school to college marks the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. Some aspects of life are similar while others are different. Similarities include class structures, examinations, homework, and social life. They are experienced in both cases but on different levels. On the other hand, differences include workload, guiding principles, freedom, and extent of personal application. The levels of discipline and hard work required in both cases are different because of variances in responsibilities and challenges experienced. In addition, the concept of time management is addressed differently. The transition from high school to college necessitates the embracement of changes that affect relationships, social life, work schedule, and pursuance of passions and hobbies.
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The similarities between high school and college are based on the fact that both are stages whose primary goal is to prepare students for future careers in professions of their choice (Cass 35). In that regard, they instill certain skills needed as a student goes through the process of getting an education. Both high school and college have the same class structure that includes homework, discussions, note-taking, and continuous formative assessments that are graded and contribute toward the final grade at the end of the semester (Shulman and Bowen 44).
The length of each session varies and ranges from a few minutes to several hours. Grades are an important aspect of learning in both cases. They reflect a student’s comprehension of learning material and readiness for future academic endeavors (Cass 41). The guiding principle behind joining high school and college is to become more knowledgeable in preparation for the rapidly changing world that is driven by globalization and technological advancements. The courses taken in both cases are similar even though college courses are more advanced (Ricchini and Arndt 57).
For example, the high school offers basic courses in different disciplines while college offers advanced courses. They have a similar structure, utilize similar teaching and evaluation methods, and contributed toward academic advancement (Shulman and Bowen 49). Both stages of learning involve stages of advancement that students go through. As a student advances, responsibilities increase, tasks become more difficult, and the level of application rises. Finally, sports are a core component of life in high school and college. They prepare students who wish to pursue sports as a career.
One of the main differences between high school and college is freedom. In high school students are told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Students have little freedom and therefore, they are required to follow rules (Lawn 54). In contrast, college students are responsible for their decisions and actions. College students are adults and as a result, they are held accountable for their behavior. Students make a choice whether to attend class, study for exams, participate in sports, volunteer or join clubs (Shulman and Bowen 53). In high school, attending class is mandatory and students are always told what to do (Lawn 54). On the contrary, college students choose the classes they want to take and do what they want.
Another difference is the atmosphere and social life. The social life in college is vivacious and interesting because of the high population and the variety of activities to engage in (Ricchini and Arndt 68). Students are free to go to bars, social clubs, and join fraternities and sororities. In contrast, the social life of the high school is dull because students can only engage in a limited number of activities. They are not mature enough to participate in certain activities that are legally allowed for adults.
The college environment is also lively because of massive libraries, big classes, numerous social clubs, and advanced research centers (Ricchini and Arndt 70). In high school, these amenities exist but on a smaller scale. Finally, college activities are doe at the national level while high school activities are done at the regional level. College students are exposed to more interesting experiences than high school students.
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The modes of learning are different. In high school, teachers check homework, approach students in case they identify weaknesses, write notes on the board, impart knowledge and skills, and monitor class attendance (Lawn 63). In college, professors rarely check assignments, expect students to initiate contact in case they need assistance, lecture, and expect students to write their own notes, require students to think for themselves, and rarely monitor class attendance (Ricchini and Arndt 73). High school students are adults. Therefore, they are required to take responsibility for decisions, actions, and lives.
High school and college are important stages in the education journey. Their primary aim is to impart knowledge and skills and prepare students for future careers. Similarities include class structure, the inclusion of tests and examinations, the use of grades for student evaluation, and the division of disciplines into courses. Differences include social life and environment, different levels of freedom and personal application, learning methods, and accountability. College students are adults. Therefore, they are expected to take full responsibility for their lives. On the contrary, high school students are children and therefore, need guidance, rules, and constant monitoring.
Cass, David. Successfully Transitioning from High School to College Academics. New York: Uvize Inc, 2011. Print.
Lawn, Duncan. The Unofficial High School Freshman’s Handbook to Success. New York: Lulu.com, 2014. Print.
Ricchini, John, and Terry Arndt. Life During College: Your Guide to Success. New York: Life After Graduation, 2005. Print.
Shulman, James, and William Bowen. The Game of Life: College Sports and Education Values. New York: Princeton University Press, 2002. Print.