By Nicole Brumley
Surviving the transition from high school to university is easier when you know what to expect. Here’s a list of things that change and don’t change from high school to university.
Things that don’t change:
1. Organization: Granted you were already organized in high school, planning is just as important in university, if not more. Having an agenda or visual representation of your list of things to do will help you survive those busy weeks.
2. Cliques: Watch as the cliques form after a few weeks back at school. Just like high school, like-minded people are bound to stick together. Finding people to relate to can help you survive the ups and downs of university.
3. Extra-curricular activities:
Similar to high school, joining extra-curricular activities is an important part of shaping your university experience. University offers more clubs to suit your interests and to help you learn about the communities on campus.
4. The importance of your GPA: Maintaining a good grade point average is still very important in university. Since you are now paying for your education, you have even more incentive to keep that GPA strong. Ignoring your GPA is throwing money down the drain.
5. Stepping stones: Your academic and extracurricular choices in high school got you to where you are now. In university, the decisions you make will also act as stepping stones towards achieving your goals. When you leave university, graduating with more than a diploma will be beneficial. Use the opportunities on campus to get involved and improve yourself on a personal and academic level.
Things that change:
1. Workload: The workload in university is heavier than high school. In addition to this, most classes require you to complete readings in preparation for the upcoming lecture. Although you spend more time outside of class, your list of assignments will definitely devour a majority of your free time. Procrastination is your worst enemy. Making time for study groups and working independently will help you survive those busy weeks.
2. Classes: University classes are broken down into two parts—a lecture and a lab or tutorial. Unlike high school, your classes may be much bigger in size. You have more flexibility in university with arranging your classes to suit your schedule.
3. Grades: Don’t be surprised if your grades drop during first year. The grading scheme in university is more challenging than high school. We all get bad grades every now and then, don’t worry.
4. Crackdown on plagiarism: Say goodbye to quoting Wikipedia and slacking off on bibliography citations. Plagiarism is a more serious offence in university and will result in academic consequences. This can include failing your course and getting kicked out of university. Plagiarism is not worth tarnishing your academic record.
5. Freedom: Oh, sweet freedom. In university you’ll have more freedom than high school. Enjoy the booze and parties but remember to stay responsible. Plan your free time wisely and find your work-chill balance.