Everyone says college is so hard, is it?

<p>Ok this might seem like a naive question: but is college harder than high school? Most will probably say yes; I want to know what makes college harder than high school?</p>

<p>In middle school, teachers would say that high school is so strict and requires so much work. But in reality, it wasn't as hard as they described it.</p>

<p>In high school, I along with many other people are taking about 5-7 classes per day from 7:30/8:00AM to about 3:00 PM. Plus many people do ECs which may take till 5PM. So on average many "high achieving" students stay in school and work from 7:30 AM to 5:00PM. Plus there is homework almost everyday in each of those 5-7 classes which may take up to 10:00 - 12:00 AM (might watch TV or take breaks in the middle)</p>

<p>However, based on what I have heard from my college friends. Some college students take two or three classes that start from 10:00 AM and can end at 2:00 or 3:00PM. And I would assume they do some ECs and homework (my high school teachers say there is no homework in college but my friends say there is). After all that, they should still have time left in the day (assuming they finish everything by about 7:00PM) to relax. So it seems like college students have so much less work than high school students based on hours and workload.</p>

<p>So what makes college harder than high school?</p>

<p>Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading.</p>

<p>I think that depends greatly on the college and on the high school you are coming from. For me, the standards my high school held me to were much higher than those of my college professors, it seems. I've written papers that would have been B- quality at my high school, but have earned A's in college. </p>

<p>Supposedly it's harder because your time is less structured and you have to figure out how to manage your time. Apparently for every hour in class at college, you are supposed to spend like 3 hours doing reading/homework for that class. Personally, I haven't found that to be the case.</p>

<p>It really depends on the college and the high school, but generally speaking, yes, it is harder. For starters, there is far less "hand holding." Nobody is going to check your notes or your problem sets or look at the first draft of your essay. Second, there might not be "homework" in the sense of turning something in to a teacher for a grade, but rest assured, there is work you need to do outside of class. </p>

<p>Most freshman have an adjustment period, and their first semester grades may not be as good as their HS grades, but eventually they learn to manage their time and cope with the expectations.</p>

<p>My high school was extremely rigorous and was an all-IB diploma school, so the transition to my first semester of freshman year in college went extremely smoothly. While it was a step up from my senioritis-ridden final semester of high school, it was considerably easier from my perspective than my junior year of IB.</p>

<p>That said, I know plenty of people who had a much harder time adjusting and found college considerably more difficult than high school.</p>

<p>I agree with the above posters that it depends on the college and the high school, but the difficulty of the transition also depends on how you work and learn best. If the busywork you have to do each night in high school doesn't suit you, you may find college considerably easier, as many courses have a few major assignments and tests rather than daily homework. For me, this worked a lot better, as I have no problem keeping up on reading and lectures but can't stand having to turn in an often-pointless homework assignment every day.</p>

<p>Naturally, as you move into more difficult courses, it will get harder, but you'll also be more prepared.</p>

<p>As far as I can tell, the biggest issues that plague many freshmen in college are a lack of time management skills and insufficient writing abilities. Those who never had to study before may also find it difficult to keep on top of things until they adjust.</p>

<p>The things I have found that really got my friends was:
1. Distractions - You though staying up late texting or something was bad, heck, you LIVE with them now.
2. Time management/lack of motivation to do work that isn't "assigned" - mentioned in other posts/ties in with distractions
3. Class structure - you can't really "distract" your professor like how people try to in high school, and a 1.5 hour lecture actually is a 1.5 hour lecture. No filler work/ random and pointless group projects, just the prof spewing info that you have to know. Everything is a lot more in depth as you go higher up, so what you thought was your best/favorite subject, may just want to make you jump off a cliff.
4. (depending on your HS) The increased quality expected of your work.</p>

<p>That being said, these vary from person to person. I only found that I had no motivation to do any work. (classes were boring - except math :/)</p>

<p>Edit: On the whole, I find college a lot easier, but a lot more stressful say, a few days before a paper or test because that's basically all that goes into your grade (no little assignments to fluff your grade). Apart from that...well...also depends on your schedule (work/ECs)</p>

<p>Depends on your school, what classes you take, and how much of the "optional" (ungraded) homework you're going to do. At my school, if you took a full course load with nothing but heavy reading courses like Poli Sci, English, Education, or Soc, you could end up with 400 or more pages of reading on a bad week. If on the other hand you took a schedule like Statistics, Calc I, Musicianship, and Intro German, your homework load would be pretty light.</p>

<p>I'm sure there will be someone who takes issue with what courses I stereotyped as easy and hard homework loads. Keep in mind these vary from school to school. Spanish, for instance, is probably an easy major at most schools because it's such an easy language for most English speakers, but at my school Spanish has a reputation for being the hardest department in the school because the standards are incredibly high.</p>

<p>Okay for some of your responses, you are telling me it depends on what type of college you are attending. Since I haven't decided where to go yet. How do you think your college experience/workload differ at college than high school if you attended Penn State? UPitt? Drexel? Lehigh? Columbia? Dartmouth? (if you have any idea what the workload/stress would be like at these schools).</p>

<p>@kudryavka, I would probably focus on more math and science classes in colleges. But I would also like to take some courses in a foreign language and international cultures/relations.</p>

<p>@everyone, yeah I go to a public high school that is probably ranked around 70 out of maybe like 500 schools in the state. Its not like a fancy private school, but its not one of those small inner city schools either.</p>

<p>And just a general question (again might sound a little silly), during the lecture can you ask questions to the professor or do you have to wait till after class? The videos I have seen online have the students quiet throughout the entire lecture; they only talk when the teacher asks for an answer.</p>

<p>That depends on the professor and probably on the subject matter as well. In my sociology or literature classes, for example, student input/questions are usually welcome. But in a math class that has section meetings built in, it's probably best to save your questions for section.</p>

<p>In general though, even in my English classes and such I have found that students are a lot less vocal. But you will also have discussion-based classes (usually upper level) where it is much more dependent on student input.</p>

<p>"And just a general question (again might sound a little silly), during the lecture can you ask questions to the professor or do you have to wait till after class?"</p>

<p>Depends on the size of the class. It's not feasible to have a class where all of the 300 hundred students can interrupt with questions. In classes with less than 30 students, though, it's generally always OK to ask a question so long as you take care to be polite about when and how you ask it.</p>

<p>I went to a really hard high school, and am now going to a really hard liberal arts college. College is definitely more difficult. I often had 200+ pages of reading per day last semester--and regularly had at least 100--and I only took two reading-intensive classes (so, as a prospective history major, I'm already dreading next year). I started learning a new language, and the foreign language classes here are extremely fast-paced compared to high school; in one semester we covered enough material, and in sufficient depth, that I would probably be able to score something in the 650-700 range on the SAT subject test if I took it (I looked at a practice test out of curiosity--yes, pathetic, I know), which I think means we've covered around two or three years' worth of grammar (not that much vocab, though) in high-school years. I'm also taking an introductory science class, and even though I took that science for 3 years (credits do not allow you to skip intro classes here), I've already learned **a lot **of stuff we never even mentioned in high school.</p>

<p>And by all accounts, freshman year at Reed is ridiculously easy compared to the other three... Which I've observed first-hand when I've talked to upperclassmen about the amount of reading and writing they have to do.</p>

<p>So yeah, I'd say college is much harder. But it totally depends on the school you go to. Class size and therefore class discussion also depends on where you go to school. All four of my classes were/are taught by professors in groups of ~15, so discussion is the norm. Bio and Hum also have 150 minutes of lecture time per week in addition to normal classes, and it is possible to ask questions during that time, but not that common.</p>

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<p>There is research that indicates there is a lot more variation in rigor within colleges than between them. </p>

<p>In other words, at most colleges, there are rigorous paths and not-so-rigorous paths. Those who choose the more rigorous path get more out of their college experience than those who take the easier road. </p>

<p>Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using CC App</p>

<p>^ At most, perhaps so, but there are some significant exceptions, with Reed, Swarthmore and UChicago considered by some to be the most academically intense. One way is to cram two semesters of college material into one.</p>

<p>As everyone's been saying, IT DEPENDS ON WHAT COLLEGE YOU GO TO AND WHAT MAJOR YOUR IN!!!! Also the type of student you are. I just finished my first semester of college and although the amount of work is A LOT! its very doable and I'm a bio major btw. A school like Harvard is going to be harder then a community college and a bio major is going to be harder then a history major; I'm a double major in history to lmao. But I enjoy the challenge and college is really fun. So far college has actually been better for me then high school but we just have to wait and see if it continues.</p>

<p>Ummm... Harvard is not known for being particularly hard, what with the majority of its students graduating with honors, and it's naive to claim that history is an "easier" major than biology (or vice versa). Just stop.</p>

<p>So imho no matter your major/school most of the first two years of college are cake. As you move into the upper division coursework though if you are in any type of challenging school and major you will find things that challenge you more than high school. Whether that be reading 200+ pages and analyzing what you have read, or writing a paper on the Elliptic Curve Factorization method, or doing "recommended" homework to keep up in a Signal Processing class there will be a greater challenge in college than in high school intelectually.</p>

<p>Biology is harder then history I don't care what you say. And Harvard might be easy for the people it accepts, but for the majority of people its hard</p>

<p>Okay, I see. Your immense powers of persuasion have forced me to accept your misspelled opinion as fact.</p>

<p>History and biology are as hard as the teachers who teach them, like every other subject. To claim otherwise is to betray your ignorance about both the entire academic field you're belittling and the phenomenon of good teaching.</p>

<p>Also, the answer to the question of Harvard's grades is called grade inflation, not student genius. Caltech, Harvey Mudd and MIT accept the same caliber of students as Harvard, but their average GPAs are much lower. Princeton and Wellesley decided to rein in their grades a couple of years ago, and their average GPAs have also gone down despite their median SAT scores going up or staying the same. As I said, stop.</p>

<p>I'm so sorry I used then instead of than. ^ college liberals you got to love them -_-</p>

<p>Like many have said already, it really depends on the college you go to and the high school you attended.</p>

<p>I’m a college freshman that went to a pretty competitive public high school in North Carolina (I think its top 5 in the state). I took mostly honors and APs and maintained pretty solid grades (As and Bs, one C in Calculus AB- not a math person). I had a lot of homework for my classes and was involved in ECs, although I didn’t take a particularly active role because I didn’t think I had time. I wanted an academically competitive college and that is why I chose my dream school, Wake Forest (“Work” Forest-GO DEACS! :) )</p>

<p>I can’t say that my college is any easier or harder than my high school was, it is just different and, in my humble opinion, better. I think a huge difference is that I’m actually ENJOYING the classes I am taking, which makes the work load a little more manageable because it can actually be interesting and fun. Granted, I am only taking 14 hours of credit this semester (I wanted to test the waters my first semester of my Freshman year), but even next semester when I am planning on taking 17 credits (including Biology with a lab, Economics, French Literature (in French), Statistics and British Literature), I don’t think I will have an issue. My enjoyment will motivate me to keep going, even when I have a lot to accomplish.</p>

<p>Besides the freedom to choose, I think another thing that makes college seem maybe a little easier is the simple amount of time you have to play around with. I have so many more free hours to do what I like, including homework or socializing with friends or whatever. I have classes 5 days a week, I work 3 days a week, I write for the newspaper, I attend club meetings, I am pretty heavily involved in Student Union, I watch movies on movie nights, I go to football games, I go to parties with my friends and I still have time to sleep 8 hours a night. The fact that I’m not wasting my time sitting in classes for 7 hours a day while falling asleep and not being allowed to work on things for other classes is a huge help. I also think I was taught (from my school and my parents- they never forced me to do anything and so I became very self-motivated) to manage my time well. This is, again, a huge help. Spacing out what I have to do lets me wrap my head around everything and plan accordingly. </p>

<p>I admit that this does not happen for everyone. My roommate, for example, is far less organized than I am. She was heavily involved in theatre and music since she was small, and therefore everything else has always come after. She is behind in multiple classes and yet, she comes home or goes to the theatre building to talk to friends/hang out or play around on Facebook instead of doing actual work. She will suffer because of it and it will bite her in the butt later on. She did not take as rigorous a course schedule in high school, we’ve talked about this, but her high school was comparable in competitiveness to my own. The reason she struggles is simply because her parents pushed one thing all the time (theatre) and were okay with everything else suffering because of it; they’ve changed their tune a little now that they are paying for her to mess around. </p>

<p>In short, I think it depends on the high school, the college, the person, the parenting and the life skills a person has to determine whether their college classes will seem “easier” or whether their experience will be, in my own wording, “better” than high school.</p>

<p>Check out "College Is So Much Easier Than High School" page on parents forum.</p>