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What to Expect When You Make a Transition from High School to University

For college freshmen, the new environment can be quite intimidating. They often feel inadequate and out of place during the first academic year. However, with a little effort your college transition can be smooth and manageable. If you are prepared to take on the challenge, are motivated to learn and are willing to make an adjustment, university will turn out to be just as enjoyable and exciting as high school. The information given below will provide you a clear idea of what to expect during your initial days at university:

The environment

University is very different from high school and these differences will be soon apparent to new students. The environment at university is very independent since students are expected to take responsibility of their education, their classes and assignments. University students are required to put in more work and study longer hours to keep up with the academic course. Typically, it is also easier to interact and form friendships at university than at high school. Finding fellow students with common interests is easier.

Study requirements

The workload in universities is heavier compared to high school. University students should expect a lot of writing and reading. However, this will mainly depend on the degree you are studying towards. Other than the hours spent at classes, students also have to devote a lot of time studying, completing assignments and reading after class. Students should come prepared to work harder and be more consistent with their studies in order to be successful at university.

Class sizes

University classes are typically larger and this may come across as intimidating to certain students, especially if their high school had smaller class sizes. Students are often required to participate in class discussions. However, larger classes are often less interactive and rely mainly on lecture. In classes where the size is smaller, the study pattern will usually be a combination of discussions and lectures.


University promises freedom and independence and most students are quite excited about it. However, they usually face problems adjusting because they do not anticipate the responsibility that often comes with independence. Students are responsible not just for their academic performance but also their personal lives, shopping, budgeting, cooking and managing a household if they are living outside the campus. For new university students, it might be overwhelming to keep up with all the responsibilities.

Time management

Other than the time spent in lectures, students also need to complete assignments, work in labs and read. Time management is one of the most important things at university. Many students also have a part-time job. There are other extracurricular activities, friends and personal life to balance. Making everything work well takes some practice and some clever time management.

University is much more demanding than high school and students have to work hard to keep up with everything that is required of them. However, with a little adjustment, time management and support, you will be able to quickly make the transition.