The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Making a fresh start

Congratulations graduates of 2008! You have completed four years of high school with all the exams, pressure of doing well on SAT’s and choosing the best college.

But now it’s time to start a new chapter in your life: the next four years of college in which you will grow into a young mature adult and learn to be independent, have a little more freedom and really get to know yourself better as you grow.

However, amidst all of that, you will find that college can be very different than high school in many different aspects.

Responsibility is one of the biggest things that changes after high school. Beginning the first year of college, the transition may be hard depending on if you’re a commuter or a resident student.

However, for resident students, the responsibility of living away from home and taking care of yourself is a part of their daily college life.

In college, you need to be more independent and be more conscientious about your actions and decisions. Decisions like when to study or when to hang out with friends or even when to eat can be crucial when it comes to managing your time. On the other hand, in high school, your time and schedule is structured everyday and you are more likely to be more dependent on parents and teachers.

Classes also differ from the traditional class set up in which most students have experienced for most of there academic life.

When is comes to the structure of the two different levels of education, both vary at two different extremes. In high school, the school year lasts about 36 weeks with possibly 8 or more classes (periods) a day. Usually, classes have 30 students or less and teachers spend more time on the classroom material.

Students are specifically told what homework and reading they are to do for the following day. In contrast, the college year is much shorter, which is broken up into two semesters.

The year includes a month long winter break and finishing off the year in May rather then in June. Sometimes, classes can have up to 100 students or more in auditorium size classrooms.

This may not be the ideal class size because the professor will go through the material faster. Also, all college professors are required to hand out a syllabus, which lists all the assignments and work that is expected from the student. Once again, time management plays a big role.Grading and Professors also come in more of a variety in college.

Depending on the class and/or professor, college classes can vary when is comes to exams and quizzes. Some classes may just have three exams the whole semester without any quizzes or others may have a quiz every two weeks and then a cumulative exam at the end. The variations can go on and on.

In high school however, tests are given every so often on maybe just two chapters to help you keep up. Then, grades are given through numbers on reports cards, in which parents need to attend Parent/Teacher conferences to make sure their child is doing well in school. None of that applies in college. Final grades are given based on a scale of 4.0 accompanied by letter grades.

Another daunting yet wonderful part of college is the freedom that is granted. If you’re going to be living on campus, you will definitely have a great deal of freedom since you’ll be living away from home and family. As an individual, you decide when to do what on your own time.

You can decide to have a healthy meal or maybe eat in class or on the go. St. John’s has many different dining choices on campus to be more convenient to you and your schedule. In contrast, high school has only one cafeteria for the whole school where you would only get one period of about 45 minutes to have lunch. You may not even be able to leave the building for lunch due to security purposes.

The great thing about St. John’s is the green campus it has, which allows students to sprawl out. This is the obvious big difference when it comes to high school and college. Most of the time, high schools are only one building and maybe a few trailers outside if the school is over crowded.

Being in one building, the time of going from one class to another is very less compared to a college campus where you would have ten minutes to walk to you next class from one building to another.

St. John’s is a big campus so sometimes you might have to walk from one end to another just to get to class. These are just some pointers to know what to expect in order to make a smooth transition from high school to college.

But it is always important to remember to manage your time well and be organized. Use a planner or a calendar to help you keep track of everything. Get to know your professors well so that when you need help, they will be the best source.

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