“That Won’t Work In College!” A Personal Reflection

We all heard it as high school students: “This won’t stand in college!” “Teachers won’t be this nice to you in college!” “We’re testing you this way to prepare you for college!” But how much of that was actually true, and how much was speculation? Here’s my personal take.


I wrote a LOT of essays in high school, mostly in my English classes, and they were always formatted to the letter. Twelve-point font, Times New Roman, double spaced, X amount of words. Aside from one history class, I haven’t had to write nearly as many essays since coming to college, and those I have had to write were less strict. Some teachers had a preference on word or page count, but most didn’t care as long as you wrote a good essay.

Free Time

My junior year of high school, my school introduced a block schedule, with a few large gaps of free time and class lengths that changed day by day. The administration claimed that this was to prepare us for college. While the gaps of time in the day have been present, the difference between high school and college is that I can leave campus or go back to my dorm when I have a free hour between classes, rather than having to awkwardly sit in the library for an hour. My class times, meanwhile, are stagnant. In high school, I would have some classes for an hour on one day, and then an hour and 45 minutes on another. That doesn’t happen in college.


My teachers in high school were pretty nice, for the most part, and none of them really fear-mongered with me. I think I heard the phrase “your teachers in college will be a lot harder on you” only a couple of times. With my teachers in college, I feel that, while it varies from person to person, most of my teachers are as nice as my teachers in high school. The key difference between teachers in high school and college is my teachers here are a lot more understanding when it comes to things like tardies and missed assignments, and they have a bit more time to answer questions outside of class.

Studying and time management

I didn’t study in high school. I didn’t have to. Either I knew the material enough that I didn’t need to study, or I was so absolutely lost that studying wouldn’t have helped me anyway. Besides, after school I was doing multiple extracurriculars, so my day was scheduled from dawn till dusk. In college, however, I’ve had to study, practice and handle my own scheduling. This has run into a few hiccups (like scheduling my COVID shot during one of my Zoom classes), but I feel like I’ve grown and gotten better at studying material since coming to college, mostly because I’ve had to in order to get through my classes.

Bonus Round: Things I Miss From High School

Watching people get into fights at 8 a.m., spending time around friends all day, getting home from school before sundown, votech classes, and funny high school drama.

Categories: Opinion

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