High school and university: what changes?

University may feel daunting to those coming straight out of high school. For many, it’s a new start, full of opportunity, new friendships and unique experiences.

The change in environment alone is a massive difference. The amount of people in classes suddenly leaps from 30 to hundreds, putting less attention on the individual, which can be a good and a bad thing. Meanwhile, the amount of required coursework changes from frequent assignments and exams worth small percentages of your grade to large percentages of your grade depending on only a few big assignments. The high school classroom has now been separated into lecture and seminar, accompanied with more afterschool reading to do than before.

The most drastic change, however, is the amount of independence you now have. No one will be checking to ensure your homework is done, or if you’ve even bothered to attend class (save for seminars, where attendance can be crucial to your grade).

The independence that comes with university will require you to be self-directed. After all, the choices you make all come down to what you want to do: your major, your classes, your topics of study. At university, you have the ability to narrow down your interests, as well as join any clubs or take on an on-campus job applicable to your personal interests. As your class attendance and schoolwork is of no importance to anyone besides yourself, it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re prioritizing these things and making the best out of your university experience.

While there are many differences between high school and university, the transition doesn’t have to be too hard. If there are bumps in the road, university luckily offers a lot more ways to handle this than high schools have, like the personal counselling services offered here at Brock.

Brock also offers plenty of clubs and organizations, extending far past the reaches of any high school, there are many opportunities to involve yourself with like-minded people, some of whom may become your support system throughout your university years. Not only that, but in university, getting involved outside of the classroom is important to your future. Brock offers numerous clubs and organizations that will provide you with valuable experience for your future, as well as a number of on-campus jobs. Having a well rounded university experience is crucial.

University is a start of a new chapter, yes, but it doesn’t have to be difficult to navigate —in fact, it can be exciting and freeing.

If you do experience any issues transitioning into university or otherwise, Brock has a ton of resources readily available. Visit https://brocku.ca/mental-health/ for more information on the mental health services available at Brock and within the region, as well as other necessities such as crisis hotlines and information about self-care.

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