What are the Differences Between College and High School?

Posted: June 24, 2021 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 3 minutes

What are the differences between college and high school?Making the transition from high school to college is an important, exciting thing for all future freshmen. While there are new freedoms and responsibilities between high school and college, there are also several differences between college and high school students should be aware of.

Five Ways College Differs From High School


Not all professors take attendance and attendance is not mandatory for all courses. Even if you’re not required to attend class, remember that not only are you paying to be there but also you will get more out of the course and have a higher chance at success if you regularly attend class.

One of the great things about college is the flexibility and individualized options for students. If you’re not a morning person, don’t register for morning classes. If you experience afternoon lulls, don’t register for afternoon classes. Register for classes held at a time that makes sense for you and don’t forget to show up!


While Southern Utah University has several built-in support networks for students, there is a significant increase in independence from high school to college. This adjustment can be a double-edged sword for many students. Avoid loneliness and take advantage of this newfound independence by trying new things on and off campus, building your local support network, and finding and sticking to a schedule that works for you.

For more information about student support systems, visit The Nest or Student Affairs.


Nobody is necessarily checking in to see if you finished your homework or made your bed. It’s up to you to hold yourself accountable. Setting goals, keeping a planner, staying on top of deadlines, setting alarms, waking up and going to sleep on time, being healthy, and keeping your space clean are examples of a few things you can do to hold yourself accountable.

Campus accountability systems can be composed of peer mentors, academic advisors, fellow classmates, professors, roommates, etc.

Free Time

Another great thing about college is having more control of your free time. You get to choose how you spend your time outside of class. Find ways to fill your time that make you happy. Some options on campus include joining a club or attending events. Also exploring SUU’s pristine location- from historic main street to the national parks- is a great way to fill your time and make memories.

Learn more about SUU’s location.

Academic Rigor

College is typically more rigorous in college than high school. Though the classes are shorter, anywhere from 1-3 hours of homework can be expected per class. College also tends to be more reading heavy, and it’s important to have readings completed before class. Learning how to annotate is also useful for referencing your readings when studying for exams or writing essays.

Creating a study routine/homework schedule is a great way to get ahead of the chaos. Utilize SUU resources such as the Tutoring Center, Speech & Presentation Center, and the Writing Center for free help on homework. For more academic advice, check out these campus resources.


As you navigate the transition to college and adapt to the differences between college and high school, take advantage of the resources on campus. SUU’s First-Year Experience and Orientation program provide each incoming student with valuable, personalized attention from the moment they commit to SUU until they complete their first year.

Tags: Student Life First Year Experience

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