Adjusting to College Life

Major differences between college and high school

Teacher/Student Contact

College

Faculty are available during office hours (only a few hours a week) and by appointment to address students' concerns.

High School

Contact closer and more frequent (5 days a week)

Competition/ Grades

College

Academic competition is much stronger; minimum effort may produce poor grades.

High School

Academic competition is not as strong; good grades can often be obtained with minimum effort.

Status

College

Students can build their status as they wish; high school status can be repeated or changed.

High School

Students establish a personal status in academic and social activities based on family and community factors.

Counseling/ Dependence

College

Students rely on themselves; they see the results of making their own decisions. It is their responsibility to seek advice as needed. Students set their own restrictions.

High School

Students can rely on parents, teachers, and counselors to help make decisions and give advice. Students must abide by parents' boundaries and restrictions.

Motivation

College

Students apply their own motivation to their work and activities as they wish.

High School

Students get stimulation to achieve or participate from parents, teachers, and counselors

Freedom

College

Students have much more freedom. Students must accept responsibility for their own actions.

High School

Students' freedom is limited. Parents will often help students out of a crisis should one arise.

Distractions

College

The opportunity for more distractions exists. Time management to students will become more important.

High School

There are distractions from school, but these are partially controlled by school and home.

Value Judgments

College

Students have the opportunity to see the world through their own eyes and develop their own opinions and values.

High School

Students often make value judgments based on parental values; thus, many of their value judgments are made for them.

Adapted from Hatch, Cathie and Richard H. Mullendore. Helping Your First-Year College Student Succeed: A Guide for Parents. National Orientation Directors Association, 2000.

Support for Parents

Resources

Contact Warren College