Looking back on high school, I’m amazed that I had seven classes a day and had homework in all of them due the next day. High school seems so different compared to college now, but there are still many common qualities that makes transitioning from high school to college easier.
1. College may give you more free time (but are you truly free?).
In high school, you were required to take classes from dawn to late afternoon. But in college, you usually only have two or three classes a day, and the remaining free time is yours. During my first year of college, I didn’t know what to do with all this “free time,” but I soon realized that even though I have more time in college, I still had a lot of things to do. Assignments usually take more time to complete than in high school, and exams or essays affect your grade significantly more than they used to in high school. College really teaches you to spend time more effectively to your advantage.
2. High school teachers and college professors—they’re both still nice.
Something about the word “professor” sounds intimidating, but professors are still just as nice and easy to talk to as high school teachers. Office hours actually make professors more accessible to talk to than high school teachers. So what’s the difference? Unlike high school teachers, professors (especially at Rochester) conduct their own research and you can actually get involved in the research as an undergraduate student! By talking with your professor and sharing academic interests, you can take advantage of an amazing opportunity to jump into the field and learn more in-depth about a currently ongoing project that is relevant today.
3. There are still many “extracurriculars” to participate in, but the scale is larger than you’ve ever seen before.
Even if your high school was super big and had over a hundred clubs, it’s still not comparable to the wide variety of student organizations and clubs offered on college campuses. Especially at Rochester, students are interested in a wide variety of clubs, from a cappella to Quidditch! With more options available, it’s very easy to get involved on campus and meet new friends who share the same interests as you. I can confidently say that my college life would not be as enjoyable if it weren’t for the organizations and events I participated in during my time here.
High school is not that different from college. You still have to study, you’ll be just as busy, and of course you’ll have fun. But college, especially at the University of Rochester, offers a bigger world of academic and social opportunities that is just waiting for you to take on by storm!