Seriously, forget everything you know. Making the transition from school to college is one of the biggest, nerve-wrecking transformations a student has to face. It is, in many ways, the end of things they hold dear and the beginning of the growth that marks these students as adults in the end. However, while gearing up for college, most students see this phase merely as an extension of their high school years, expecting similar experiences with the kinds of people they’ve interacted with their whole lives.
So, here is a list of all the things that are going to change once you step through those huge gates and gaze at your schedule for the first time.
Your social clique doesn’t exist anymore.
While this may be the most obvious change to strike anyone, its true repercussions run a little deeper than just hanging out with people you haven’t know all your life. The biggest change here comes in the form of meeting new types of people and, as a result, possibly being friends with people you probably would’ve overlooked in high school. One of the greatest plus points of this is that you are more likely to learn more about people around you and yourself, which will be quite instrumental in shaping your perspective. With the budding curiosity that comes with meeting new people, you will also start exploring more creative and intellectual outlets than you did in school. So, don’t be surprised when you run into the math whiz from school who can suddenly rock the bass guitar.
Self-expression and identity become pivotal issues.
Now that you’ve been thrown into the deep end of the pool without a life jacket, you’re going want to learn a few skills to stay afloat. One of the first things that you’ll notice is that no one actually cares about who you were in school. Now, pause and let that sink in. For those of you who have had a less-than-fortunate high school experience, this is a great chance for reinvention. Of course the idea behind this isn’t to change who you are but to give yourself a chance to be the version of yourself that you’ve always been too shy or too repressed to be. The same goes for people who don’t feel the need for a second chance. No one actually knows the right way to interpret your humor or mood swings or how well you can draw. This is great for you because, let’s face it, while you were surrounded by everyone who knew you since nursery, how much did you have to prove, anyway? Expression leads to better communication, which is a skill that comes in handy no matter what sphere you’re planning to work in.
Best teachers don’t give you notes.
This may sound like a dream but there’s a catch – the best teachers don’t give you notes, they talk. Teachers who can teach from experience are the ones you’re going to learn from the most. On the other hand, teachers who throw highlighted notes and excerpts in your face usually don’t have much of an opinion on the subject. Another major change in college is that your teachers will behave a little less like authority figures and a little more like people who are willing to guide you if you need the guidance. Teachers in college are more open to discussions outside the classroom, whether you’re looking for advice on the subject they teach or just want to discuss the latest dystopian universe trilogy out there in the market.
Your opinion counts more than the facts.
Well, to be honest, this really depends on what you’re studying but in most cases, teachers don’t really want to know how well you can memorize and recite a textbook without glancing down. They’re more interested in the perspective you’re willing to bring to the classroom and whether you can stand up for your opinion. When you go to college, you’re going to notice that your grades are split up into your tests, exams, projects and participation and while the last is given a lesser percentage in terms of relevance to your final grade (it’s usually around 10-15%), it happens to be one of the most important ways to show you’re learning something in the classroom. The best part about opinionated answers is that there isn’t any right or wrong answer because, as it suggests, it’s your opinion. So, don’t be shy to raise your hand and tell your teacher why you think an idea is wrong.
Extra-curricular activities teach you the most.
Here’s one of the best things about college – your extra-curricular activities count. At the end of three years (or four, depending on the college you’re attending), you’ll be surprised when you realize that you’ve picked up managerial skills from the time you directed the annual play, have learnt how to communicate ideas more effectively during your stint in the debate club, have a better understanding of organizational behavior because you joined the student union, are more honest after that long lecture on plagiarism and are more self assured and confident because of all the time you’ve spent meeting deadlines. So, at the end of the day, if you go to your college of choice with an openness towards new experiences and a positive attitude, your college years could very well be the best of your life. However, if you’re expecting your college scene to be exactly like high school, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening.