If you’re in the middle of your senior year of high school, you might spend a lot of time looking forward to your first year of college. Some of you juniors are probably busy dreaming and planning as well! Most likely college will turn out to be everything you have hoped, and more… But there are a few things that, most of the time, no one tells you. So to prevent any unpleasant surprises, we’re spilling the beans now.
Professors are much different from high school teachers. Most won’t remind you of upcoming due dates five times. They expect you to do your assigned readings, and won’t slow down the rest of the class to catch you up. And, they generally dislike anything that feels like an “excuse”. If you need help, most are very helpful, but you can’t wait until the last minute.
Your parents won’t be nagging you. They probably won’t even know when your assignments are due and tests are scheduled. So, the lack of “nagging” might sound great, but it will also mean a lack of reminders. You will be 100 percent responsible for your own success at this point.
Freedom feels great, but it comes at a price. For every freedom in the world, a responsibility is attached. Yes, you will enjoy the freedom of being able to walk out of your dorm at 2 am if you want. You can go to a party the night before a big test, and no one will stop you. You can skip class and no one will call your parents or ask for a doctor’s note. The downside of all this freedom is that it can be a bit too alluring. Give in too often, and your grades will suffer. Financial aid and scholarships can even be affected.
It’s so easy to fall behind. College classes move at an incredibly fast pace, compared to high school classes. Missing one class or falling behind on your study schedule can have an enormous impact as you scurry to catch up.
We certainly don’t want to scare you by sharing these truths. But as you’re dreaming of newfound freedom, making new friends, taking interesting classes and enjoying extracurricular activities, remember to keep yourself grounded in reality. College will probably turn out to be the most fun time of your life, but it’s important to start out with your eyes wide open, ready to face the challenge.