Before entering college, I, just like most other prospective college students, was very nervous about the level of academic rigor. Although I did always receive good grades in high school, I was still worried that either my teachers were either always too lenient on grading and weren’t preparing me well enough for my college career.
As I am now finishing up my second year of college, I can now confidently say that although there are differences between the college and high school academic style, but college work is not impossible to handle.
First, the structure between college classes and high school is very different. In high school the structure is already provided to you. Personally, I never had to time manage myself too much because it was provided by our teachers. With long term class projects, we were often given a specific time frame to follow. In college, I have received very little assistance in terms of time management from my professors. For several of my classes, my professors informed us about a project due towards the end of the semester during the first lecture and then never mentioned it again. This lack of forced time management from college professors requires the individual student to be fully responsible for themselves. Although this has led me to completing papers and projects very last minute for several courses, it has forced myself to mature and has given me a deep form of self-realization that my own success is only dependent on myself.
Another thing I was concerned with was the relationship between myself and my professors. I thought that all professors were going to be stone cold in terms of flexibility throughout the course. While there are a lot of rules professors must follow according to the college, they are not as strict as I originally thought. Students can develop close relations with their professors and the overall class can establish a classroom culture where the student’s opinions are acknowledged.
In terms of the physical work itself, there is not that much of a difference. Personally, I took a lot of AP courses in high school that were heavy with work, so I have not noticed a big difference in the amount of work I have to complete every week. However, there is a lot more of induvial studying. Many hours of my week are spent learning from a textbook.
Overall, I feel like the amount of work to complete in college is not impossible but it does require a lot of self-realization where you must understand your own learning style. There are additional challenges on top of the college work load being first generation but with a motivated mind and lots of hard work, it will be worth it in the end!