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A Teen's View

High school versus College

Danielle Ryan

(11/2011) Now having a month of college under my belt, I have noticed some differences between college life and high school. These differences include time management, classes, and the work load.

When I was in high school, my time was scheduled specifically to center around the eight hour school day. Every day I woke up at 6:15, left the house at 7:00 and drove to school, which started at 8:00. The rest of my day was filled with a set schedule of classes that ended at 2:45. From school I would go to extracurricular activities or would go home. Either way, my day always ended with homework. This schedule occurred every Monday through Friday.

Now that I am in college, I have noticed a huge difference in my schedule. For instance, I do not have classes every day; I only have classes four days a week. On those four days, my time is not scheduled to fit within an eight oíclock to three oíclock range. Instead, my classes are spread out within one day. I have some classes that are earlier in the morning and then donít have another class until later in the afternoon or the evening. This gap in my schedule allows me to be flexible with what I wish to do with my time. I can go home and take a nap, or hang out with some of my friends or I can choose to use this time to do homework and study for tests.

Another thing that I have come to learn about college is that there is a much larger independent work load. Instead of having class for eight hours straight and then going home and doing homework for two to three hours, I now have anywhere from two to four hours of homework per class. Obviously this does vary according to the class and the assignments given, but there is definitely a huge difference.

Another major difference is I have found that studying for tests is easier when there is a gap in my schedule every day. Instead of having to study for a test during the evenings, I have several hours during the day to study as I please. Once again, it all seems to come back to the flexibility of the schedule that college offers. I have found that I am more inclined to study for a test several days in advance of the test as opposed to the night before, like I did quite often in high school. I suppose I feel that there is much more time to study and prepare for an exam now that my time is not scheduled quite so strictly.

Teachers have always said that this is a good way to study. It means that instead of trying to cram a lot of information into my memory during one night, I can take several nights to study and digest the information; that way my mind doesnít become overloaded. This also seems to cut down on the stress level when studying for an exam. I donít seem so stressed when I give my mind several days to take in information and understand it.

As I said in the beginning, classes themselves are different. I would not say that they are not much more difficult, but they are paced much faster. In my high school, most of the classes were one year classes as opposed to one semester, or half year classes. This means that a lot of information has to be covered in about four months. There are even some classes that only meet once a week, which means that these particular classes are even faster paced. This topic goes back to the independent work that is required. Because the classes meet less often, students have to complete a lot of work, whether it be assignments, projects, note-taking or studying on his or her own time.

I love this new found freedom that I have as a college student. I like being able to have the choice as to what I want to do with my time. I love being more independent and having more choices. With all this being said, there are many responsibilities that come with this new independence. Some of these responsibilities are easier than others, but all are important. I still have donít have a firm grasp on all of them yet, but like I said, I have only been in college for one month. Luckily I have a lot of time yet to continue figuring things out.

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