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It often happens that if a change occurs without our realization, we tend to humbly embrace it. However, when it is destined to occur at a predetermined time and space, such as the transition from school to college, we are caught in the web of making endless choices and subsequent preparations for the challenges that await us.

The difference between the study environments in school and college can shake everyone a bit. Our expectations are the main cause for our fears here. Watching elder siblings, hearing stories from seniors and Bollywood ‘youth’ movies further affect the way we perceive things.

Following are some of the points where college life digresses quite vividly from school.

1. Responsibility: The Ball is in Your Court

College education is all about taking your own responsibilities and being accountable for your mistakes. The punctuality involved in reaching class on time, taking down the homework or notes, revising your lessons daily, participation in extra-curricular activities: these tasks are no longer compulsions. College is the time when these things become a part of our lives.

2. Study: Find Your Reason

Jack Ma, the founder of the most successful Chinese online store Alibaba, once told his son: “You don’t need to be in the top three in your class; being in the middle is fine as long as your grades aren’t too bad. Only this kind of a person (a middle-of-the-road student) has enough free time to learn other skills”.

All our preparations while writing the entrance examinations focus on getting into a good college/institution. However, once you reach your destination, do not try to inculcate the entrance preparation methodology into the college learning. It might prove to be helpful in the short run by providing you with good grades and perhaps you will mug your way into a good placement. But it defeats the purpose of the struggle in your school days. Studies are important and you need to focus on them. At the same time, do not let your studies define you as a person. This is a key difference between school and college!

3. Distractions Will Always Be There

Most people would say that the freedom offered in college comes at the cost of distractions. Yes, the possibility of distractions is higher here. Perhaps, it’s difficult to come out of that ‘after-JEE mode’. Do read how to chill after JEE if you want to get over that hangover. You might think of the sacrifices you made to get your favorite college and hence, wish to slack. Of course, socialize with people and party hard but not at the cost of your coursework. Party hard, study harder!

4. Time to Explore, Not Compete

Once you get into the institute you desire, the days of competitions are pretty much gone. College is the time to explore and learn new study techniques. For ensuring this, it is very important to choose your friends wisely as they will become a major factor in your life: more like an adopted family. To get a deeper insight into it, check out this article — choose friends wisely. College education is not about clarifying your doubts, but it’s about your ability to work your way around your problems. It is about learning from those who know and teaching those who don’t. Another of the major difference between school and college, this!

The initial transition from school to college is an override on the senses: the difference between school and college is too striking to ignore. However, once you adjust, you’ll be left in no doubt that the college life is indeed the best phase of one’s life. And moreover, we need to be grateful for the opportunity of having access to higher education.

Life at college is a topsy-turvy ride: replete with ups, downs and excitement. You can read more about the journey here.

That’ll be all for now, folks. Goodbye!

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