The Difference Between High School Classes And College Classes

The Difference Between High School Classes And College Classes


High School: High school homework is honestly SO. MUCH. WORSE than college homework. You have an hour of homework a night in all nine classes due the next day, plus you have like three hours of practice for whatever sports team you’re on. Your teachers and parents put in a collaborative effort to make sure your life was a living hell if you missed an assignment. So you got no sleep. Throughout all of your high school career, you slept approximately four hours. Simply put, you had too much work, and not enough time to do it.

College: Welcome to college, where there’s no busy work, and the points don’t matter. Because no one’s checking your homework to give you points on it. All of your assignments are reading and you’ll have several days to complete it before your class meets again. Written assignments are given to you on the syllabus, so if you have a crazy week, you can plan ahead. And if you don’t do something? The only person who suffers is you. At least you don’t have the added shame on top of it.


High School: You are allowed a certain number of absences in high school, and if you are absent you’re required to provide a phone call ahead of time, parental acknowledgment, a doctor’s note, and maybe bring in the phlegm you coughed up last night just for good measure. And once you’re in school, good luck cutting another class unless you plan to just sit in the bathroom for an entire period by yourself like some sort of refugee in hiding. It’s pretty much prison.

College: Some classes will allow a certain number of absences, and some classes don’t require you to show up at all, and whether or not you go to class is completely, 100% your decision. I know you might feel like you “should” go to class, because an Elite Daily article told you to, but I’m here to tell you that’s bogus. Or at least it might be bogus.

You need to know what kind of learner you are and what kind of class you’re attending. If you’re a person who benefits from lecture, by all means, attend class. I am not. I’m not an auditory learner at all, so to have a professor talk at me is simply a waste of my time. I never attended big lectures, especially if the notes were online, because I just can’t retain information by listening to someone talk for an hour. I got A’s in classes I went to twice, because I did the reading. If you hate reading, and like taking notes/asking questions in class, then you should probably show up. Discussion-based classes were my jam, because it made learning about me, and I benefitted from it. Know yourself and your learning needs. Don’t go to class just for the participation trophy.


High School: Your teachers can either be a death sentence or a ray of light in your otherwise awful existence, but in either case, you don’t have any choice in the matter. Your teacher is assigned to you, and no matter the discrepancies in their teaching vs. your learning, or personality clashes, you’re pretty much stuck with them for the next ten months of the year. It’s not great.

College: An amazing thing about college is that you’re able to be educated by the people you want educating you. You can design your learning experience to be exactly what you want it to be. Use the shit out of It will tell you everything you need to know about a teacher before you even sign up for a class — are they a harsh grader? Do they send out the notes? Is the class lecture heavy? Do they require the textbook? Strict attendance policy? It’s all out there, so you’re able to make informed decisions when signing up for class. And if you go to class and decide you don’t like your teacher, you can always drop within the first two or three weeks with no penalty.

The Material

High School: Depending on your school’s rating, high school was hard. Like, really hard. You were taking difficult classes with material that you, often, had no interest in, and it was required. Who cares that you’re a strictly left-brain, logic-only, math nerd. You had to take British Literature. You had to write 10-page essays about the symbolism in The Old Man and the Sea even though you think there might only be 500 words in your lexicon. And you had to participate in the fucking poetry unit — and be graded on it! Your ability to write a good poem! It’s absurd. It’s like you were being set up to fail.

College: To be honest, college is easy. You’ll have some hard classes sprinkled throughout, but in general, it’s not all that bad. Your gen-ed for non-major classes should not be too bad, and if you’re taking a difficult general education class, you need to drop it. Those classes do not matter for your future, so you should not be spending a lot of time focused on them, which means they should be as easy as possible. And your major-specific classes? They might be a little bit more challenging when you get to your 300 and 400 level classes, but guess what? It’s stuff you actually like, because it’s for your major. When you’re learning about something that interests you, it really is never that bad.

The Bathroom

High School: Oh, the days of bartering with your teachers to allow you a basic human bodily function. And then once you’re out there, you better not be caught without carrying the disgusting hall pass full of everyone’s germy hands and piss, lest you’ll be written up…for peeing. It’s like a fucking prison.

College: Just pee. You don’t even need to raise your hand and ask.

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Veronica Ruckh

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at

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