Transitioning from High School to College

The New College Experience

Have you ever thought about the many differences between high school and college? Or did you just simply jumped onto the boat without understanding how those differences would impact your life?

dead-desk.jpgThe college experience is a transformational event for every student. Those of you still leaving close to home maybe won’t notice a big change right away. But those who left behind almost everything to attend college will learn very quickly that this new journey is a whole different game. One of the biggest transformations that you’ll experience almost immediately is learning how to deal with new responsibilities.

Now you’re responsible for your own meals, doing your laundry, taking care of yourself when you get sick, managing your budget, organizing your life, etc., etc. On top of that, your professors expect you to learn all that “useless” information that, in the first place, you don’t even know why you need it for. Aren’t they supposed to make it easy for you to learn all that “stuff”? Isn’t that their responsibility as educators?

Here comes the “shocking” answer

No. They are not responsible for your learning (at least not in the way you’ve experienced learning in the past). Do you remember the first question of this post? If not, please go back and read it again.

One of the biggest differences between high school and college is related to how, when and where learning occurs and who’s responsible for it. In high school most of the learning occurred inside of the classroom. In college, the biggest part of your learning will happened outside of the classroom. Your professors will present and discuss with you the latest trends, theories, techniques and/or procedures in a chosen field of work. After that, is your responsibility to learn how to retain, retrieve and apply that knowledge in order to become a successful student.

Before, you were tough by trained professionals in the art of teaching. Now, your professors are subject-matter experts selected by your institution for their expertise in a given field of studies. Before, you had multiple opportunities to improve your grades if things went wrong. Now, one single misstep in a course could significantly impact your grade or even more. That’s why you need to understand that assuming the final responsibility for learning has become your new role as a college student. And that’s what ultimately will make you a competent, proud and successful professional.

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