High school and college classes are different in a lot of ways. Sure, you will still have lectures, handouts, projects, papers and tests, but the structure of your classes and the expectations are completely different. If you want to succeed in college, it’s important that you understand those differences before you start falling behind the curve. Here are some of those differences.
You probably already know it by now, but your college classes are going to be a lot longer than your high school classes. However, just because you know that a college lecture will last 3 hours instead of 1 doesn’t mean you’re ready for the kind of patience it requires to stay focused for that long.
Most long lectures offer one or two breaks, which help, but it still requires a lot more stamina than most people are used to. That said, because the lectures are longer, you don’t need to meet nearly as often. So you don’t have to worry about turning in four to five homework assignments for each class, each week. You usually only have one or two assignments each week.
Although you will usually have less homework assignments for each course that you take in college, those assignments will be much more hefty and difficult. You will have a lot of required reading because most professors prefer to tackle a chapter or two in the textbook each week.
Whether you’re studying at Brown University or Ohio University, your professors are actually going to expect you to do all of your reading each week and they will be lecturing under the assumption that you have.
If you skipped the assignment for the week, then it will be extremely difficult to understand what your teacher is talking about, and you will quickly fall so far behind that you will need several sleepless nights to catch up. So make sure that you are taking thorough notes and doing all of your reading.
You may have a lot more work to do and your classes may be a lot longer, but you also have the freedom to go in and out of class as you please. Have to go to the bathroom? You don’t need to ask your professor, sign out, or get a hall pass. Just get up and go.
The same goes for any other reason that you might need to leave class. Your professors trust that you wouldn’t be leaving class unless you absolutely had to, otherwise, you probably wouldn’t have been accepted to the school in the first place. They also know that if you do fall behind, it’s not their responsibility to catch you up, and they won’t need to meet with your parents to discuss your behavior. You have the choice to fail or succeed, and nobody will stop you from making either of those choices.
If you are committed to succeeding in college, then you are going to need to demonstrate that by always being on top of all of your assignments all of the time. If you try to submit a paper late or if you turn something in that doesn’t quite address your professor’s prompt, then you should be prepared to earn a grade that reflects those deficits.
Most teachers have no sympathy for students who can’t get their lives organized well enough to succeed, and they will not be emotionally blackmailed into giving you the grade that you want rather than the grade that you deserve.