High School vs. College

A closer look at the differences between secondary and post-secondary education

High School


You have around 30 hours a week of scheduled class.

You have around 15 hours a week of scheduled class.

You’re told what classes to take.

You get to choose what classes to take. (“Basket-weaving 101, here I come!”)

Classes start at 8 a.m.

You can sleep in so late you forget that 8 a.m. exists.

Classes are free and attendance is mandatory.

Classes are very expensive and no one will notice if you skip.

You go directly from one class to the next.

You often have long gaps to fill between classes. (“Gaps rhymes with naps. Coincidence? I think not.”)

Classes have no more than 35 students.

Some classes have as many as 1,000 students.

Your teacher knows your name.

Your professor doesn’t even know (or, in some cases, care) that you exist.

Your teacher writes everything you need to know on the blackboard.

You find yourself frantically scribbling everything your professor says into a notebook because you can’t figure out what any of it means.

You do homework.

You do the readings.

Your parents and teachers constantly nag you to get your work done.

You need to learn to manage your time or you’ll miss deadlines and flunk out before Christmas.

The teacher is always right.

Debating a point with the professor can earn you respect among your classmates (and from the professor, too).

Your parents get you a tutor when your grades start to slip.

You get yourself a tutor when you realize how attractive he or she is.

You have frequent tests.

It all comes down to the final exam.

Textbooks are free (or very cheap).

Textbooks are the reason you can only afford to eat ramen noodles.

The weekend starts on Friday afternoon.

The weekend starts on Thursday night (if it ever ends, that is).

The cool kids run the school.

The cool kids didn’t get accepted to college, and they suddenly seem a lot less cool (it’s tough to look good in a fast food employee uniform).

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