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High School vs. College: Top 4 Differences in Study Approaches

Studying Is Not the Same as Doing Homework

Freshmen are often surprised that they don’t do as well in college as they used to in high school. Partially, this can be attributed to being away from home in a new exciting environment and having new responsibilities. New students need to learn how to be adults and that distracts them from coursework. The main cause of this issue, though, is the fundamental difference between high school and college approaches to studying.

#1: Homework is not the same as studying

High school teachers tend to focus on homework technique. They assign tasks aimed at reinforcing skills and knowledge presented during the class. Home assignments allow students to practice until they become truly competent in the subject. However, they usually don’t learn anything new on their own.
College tutors rely on students continuing to learn outside of class. The sheer amount of information to be memorized necessitates additional study sessions. Many professors emphasize that studying is not just something to do before an exam. To understand complex concepts and stay ahead, studying needs to become a habit.

#2: A certain level of isolation is necessary in college

In high school, it is completely acceptable to study during the lunch break among all the noise and still pass the quiz afterwards. This approach does not work in college. Most upperclassmen appreciate nothing more than a quiet, calm place to learn and revise. This is partly due to subjects being more complicated, but can also be explained by a desire to socialize. If you decided to study at your favorite coffee place, some friend of yours is bound to barge in and distract you. Same goes for bookstores, parks, and even libraries. Choose a place and a time where you can be alone with your thoughts.

#3: College is more demanding on your schedule

In high school, most kids have little to no responsibilities except learning and getting good grades. College, on the other hand, calls for more time and attention. People work, join clubs, get involved in political activism. This is why it is especially important to set up separate sessions dedicated to nothing but studying. No one is perfect, so you’re bound to miss some of them. Don’t punish yourself if that happens. Just analyze the situation and draw conclusions.

#4: Procrastination is tempting, but not acceptable

Considering how much people talk and post about procrastination online, you’d almost think it’s something glamorous and intellectual. After all, everybody does it! A friend of mine actually believed that her awful study habits helped her, because she worked better when there was no time left. I’m here to tell you that procrastination is just a pretty word for laziness. And while there are people who are more productive when stressed, they are a lucky minority. Everyone else is better off doing things gradually and on time.

Now you know what to expect from college – forewarned is forearmed! Manage your time properly, study, and enjoy your college life!

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