High School vs. College

I remember when I graduated from high school, I thought to myself that there was no way that college could compete. The content in high school was easy, I had a lot of friends, and the sporting events were so much fun. It wasn’t until I actually experienced college when I realized I would never go back to high school.

There are many pros about high school, but there are also pros college has over high school. Here’s a list of a few of the big ones I could notice:

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High School: Adults control your time.

College: You manage your own time.

This is huge. When you get to college, you realize how much freedom you finally have. Whether it’s personal freedom from your parents or academic freedom of having days to complete an assignment, the freedom is awesome.


High School: You know almost, if not everyone, in your class.

College: Might not know a single person in your class.

This can be a bonus, but also a setback. Maybe not knowing anybody makes you nervous, or maybe it makes you feel good to get a fresh start and form new friendships. Regardless, college gives you an opportunity to meet new and interesting people, whether personally or for networking.


High School: Classes and books (typically) free of charge.

College: You pay for everything.

Man, that is probably the number one thing I miss about high school– free everything. But, you also have to think about the other side of it, which is the quality of the education you are getting and the academic freedoms and choices you get when you pay for college.


High School: A week or two for holiday breaks.

College: Breaks are almost a month long, if not longer, for winter break.

Ah, lovely winter break! I could remember how jealous I was in high school of my brother when he came home and had a whole month off from school. Although, I do see how much work college is now, and I could never imagine only having a week off. The length of college breaks are perfect and much needed.


High School: What is studying?

College: Study in class, outside of class, around class, far from class.

This can relate back to the quality of education. I loved my high school and had great teachers there, but so much more information was simply handed to us compared to college. In college, you have to try. You have to look for and seek out information by reading the textbooks and listening in class. Although this isn’t “the easy way,” I find that I learn more when I actually have to dig through to find information.


High School: Teachers teach material from textbook.

College: Who knows, professors could go off lecture, textbooks, or information that wasn’t even covered.

In high school, teachers mostly go off of the textbooks because that’s all of the resources given to them. In college, each professor is different. Some use their lectures as part of information you need to know on exams, while others can talk until their blue in the face for lectures but base exams off of textbook information (this is something you definitely need to figure out before your first exam).


High School: Do poorly on a test? Just retake it!

College: Retake a test? I wish!

Ah, the good ole days of bombing a test and being able to retake it. You may get very lucky in college and have a professor that will allow exam retakes, but so far in my two semesters here at Iowa State, I have yet to see that in any of my classes. But, I definitely think that is a good thing because it gives you more motivation to do well the first time.


There are pros and cons to both high school and college. If you are like me and think that it can’t be any better, wait until you experience it. They do say that these are the best years of your life!

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