Three Major Differences Between High School and University


In the months leading up to your first day at university, the transition to post-secondary may seem simultaneously exciting and daunting! It is understandable that regardless of whether you have visited your campus or not, you are going to have many questions. So, what are some of the differences between high school and university?

Size of campus and student population

Throughout high school, you have had the opportunity to be taught by multiple teachers; however, most likely all your classes have been in the same building. Depending on the size of your university campus, during your first few weeks, you will want to figure out how long it will take you to get from one class or building to the next.

Another significant difference is that while your high school may have a few hundred students, most universities are home to thousands. Students will have come from cities worldwide, and you will quickly discover that most are as keen as you are to get to know others.


Your schedule at university will be more independent and flexible than it was at high school. Your professors will not all be taking attendance or following up on a weekly basis, so it is important to establish a schedule for yourself so that you remain focused and motivated. As you will receive a course syllabus at the beginning of the semester, it is a good idea to use a planner to record important deadlines and dates well in advance.

At university, you may find that you spend far less time in class and more on studying and writing assignments. A benefit to longer intervals between classes is that you will have time to focus on schoolwork, perhaps get a part-time job, or pursue one of the extracurricular opportunities on campus.


Are you a keen debater or musician? Do you love to play baseball, frisbee, or water polo? Have you ever considered writing for a newspaper or running for student government? These are just a few of the extracurricular opportunities that may be available to you at university. Most post-secondary institutions have hundreds of clubs, intramural sports, and varsity teams, many of which will be looking for new, enthusiastic members and team players!

These are just a few of the differences between high school and university; we are sure that you will discover many more exciting distinctions within the first few months of being on campus.

As always, if you have any questions, let the team at Options know. We want to ensure you feel encouraged and confident as you embark on this exciting new beginning!

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