No More Teachers: High School vs. College

If college were like high school, what would be the point of going? The two should be different. But knowing the differences will help you adjust and help you provide the most effective support.

NO MORE Teachers

At college, instructors are called professor or doctor instead of Mr. or Ms. More importantly:

  • Professors don’t teach from the book or write notes on the board. Students must figure out what’s important and take appropriate notes. Students are also expected to speak up in class.
  • Professors don’t give assignments class-by-class. Required readings and dates for exams and papers are posted at the beginning of each semester. And you need to stay on top of them.
  • Professors don’t check homework or seek out students who seem to be having trouble. It’s up to you to initiate contact if needed.
  • Professors don’t take attendance—but they are likely to downgrade students who regularly miss class. Those students probably won’t do well on the exam anyway, since they’ll miss so much content covered in class.
  • Professors expect students to put in two to three hours of study time for every hour of class time.

NO MORE Parents

Students who board at college may rejoice in their new freedom—at least at first. But now they’ll have to deal with responsibilities on their own:

  • Without parental nudging, you will need to study harder and longer than ever before.
  • Away from family rules and values, you need to make personal decisions about how or if drinking, drugs or sexual activity should fit into your college life.
  • Without a curfew, you must create your own guidelines to balance social life, study time—and sleep.

NO MORE Children

The biggest difference? In college you are considered an adult, with all the rights and responsibilities that come with that status.

At the same time, you may need family encouragement, support and understanding more than ever. Keep the phone calls, texts and e-mails coming.


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