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Six Reasons Why College Is Easier Than High School

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: October 24, 2018

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: October 24, 2018


From online classes to having more freedom to work and enjoy your passions, here are our Top 6 Reasons for why is college easier than high school

Graduating high school is an accomplishment, and not an easy feat. It’s tough having to spend eight hours a day in the same building, going from class to class, completing daily and weekly assignments from subjects that aren’t always interesting. And then having only a couple hours in the rest of the day to hang out with friends and family, eat dinner and go to bed, only to wake up early the next day and do it all over again! So should college be any different? Is college easier than high school?

You might be among the many who are planning to go to college but are nervous, even hesitant, about entering yet another difficult school regime. But we are here to tell you that your high school days are over! We understand that you might be worried about going to college and starting to study again. And now as an adult, you need to earn money as well. This means having the added challenge of balancing school and work. So, you might be wondering if college is harder than high school and if college is a lot of work. Well, it’s a myth that college is harder. In many ways, college is actually easier than high school. Here’s why…

1. The Classes and Subjects

This time, you get to choose! As opposed to high school, college is full of choices. Aside from the big decision of what degree to pursue, you also get to choose your elective courses. These are the subjects you pick to study that are not necessarily connected to your degree. This is what is so great about college – you get to learn about what interests you! Not only are you earning a degree in your chosen field, you also get to learn about other subjects and broaden your knowledge in general.

When we are free to choose, we are more likely to enjoy what we do. Who wants to be told what to learn and have to excel in it against our will (ahem, high school)? In college, it’s easier to enjoy the classes you take since you’re already interested in that subject. It makes the whole process so much easier.


2. No More Surprises!

Just knowing that you won’t come to school one day and have your teacher say, “pop quiz!” should be enough to convince you that college is easier than high school. Not everyone is a fan of surprises, let alone the “quiz” type. In college, you know up front what you’re getting into. From the moment you enroll, you are given a syllabus. The syllabus (a.k.a. the course “Bible”) tells you exactly what you are going to be doing. You will have a list of the course material, the assignments, and everything that will be expected of you. When we know what is expected of us, it’s a lot easier to meet expectations and succeed.

“College is the reward for surviving high school” – Judd Apatow

3. Your Schedule

In college, your schedule is more flexible and spread out. You will have much fewer classes than you did in high school. And with fewer classes, there are fewer assignments. That means more free time. And more free time means more time to sleep! Let’s not forget the importance of sleep. It is super important to get enough sleep in general, but when it comes to learning, sleep is especially vital. Here’s an explanation on why healthy sleep is vital for school success.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should spend all your free time sleeping! Aside from the wonderful benefits of getting enough sleep, college also offers more time for you to work and earn money as well as pursue your hobbies and passions. Knowing your schedule from the beginning allows you to manage your days, weeks, and months. Finding a job that fits your class schedule is totally doable and not as difficult as you may think. Tons of students find part-time (or full-time) jobs and succeed in their degrees.

Source: pixabay

Many students also still find time to do the things they love, like running, painting, or writing, for instance. And not only is it possible, it’s important! Finding that balance of work and pleasure is what gives you your mojo to keep going. So don’t think you have to quit everything when you start college. Quite the opposite! College allows you the freedom in your schedule to keep doing what you love or find new hobbies.

4. Professors (vs. Teachers)

When it comes to college, professors are quite different from teachers. Professors tend to give you more space and freedom to be who you are. For one, the classroom experience is radically different (for the in-person classes). You can go to class wearing whatever you want, open up your laptop, and use your cellphone too. For online classes you can attend class when you want from wherever you want, even in bed. In college, the professors’ goals are to teach you about the subject you are learning. They are not going to tell you to take your hat off and sit up straight.

Professors also tend to be more flexible. Yes, you do have a syllabus that includes due dates. But those dates are almost always open for discussion if you come to them with a personal request and a good enough reason. They respect you as a responsible student who wants to learn and they are usually willing to work with you. In most cases, respect is a two-way street. If you respect your professor, they are more than likely to respect you as well. And this atmosphere of respect makes learning that much more enjoyable.

5. Freedom

College gives you freedom. Yes! But with freedom comes responsibility. That said, it’s all on you. Your courses, your schedule, your grades, and so on. Contrary to high school, your professors won’t be reminding you about your assignment that’s due next week. No one is on your back anymore. It’s your job to keep up with the work. And how you manage your time is a huge factor. Time management is an essential skill and a determinant of success in your studies. For tips on how to ace your time management skills, read this.

When we have the freedom to do things our way, on our watch, it makes the whole process more enjoyable and more rewarding. College also gives you a fresh start. A clean slate. Didn’t like your high school experience? No worries! You can start a new page of a new chapter in a whole new book. College is essentially a new era of your life and you get to choose how you want it to go.

6. Support and Guidance

In college, there are many resources and modes of support that each and every student is entitled to and even encouraged to use. There are mentors available to each student who provide a support system of guidance and encouragement throughout the process. If you want to know more about the mentoring available to you, click here.

As a college student, you also have the access to personal advising. You can get connected with a personal program advisor that will help you throughout your entire degree. The great thing about college is having easy access to student services and a network of people whose job it is to help you! Take advantage of it. It’s a useful tool.

Source: pixabay

College may be easier than high school, but there are still challenges

Remember, although college offers more benefits than high school, it is important to keep in mind that there will also be new challenges. But considering that you are already looking to study a degree, then you’re probably one who accepts a challenge. And with every challenge, there is a feeling of accomplishment. Here are some challenges that college students might face:

  • You will still have to do work. Each course has assignments and/or exams that are your responsibility to complete.
  • You will need to work with your peers. There are courses that still involve teamwork and the need to coordinate with others. This can be tricky, of course, but a huge skill set that almost all employers value.
  • College is a lot bigger than high school. Which means you are going to be a small fish in a big pond. But there are lots of fish! And you can swim with them. It’s easy to make new friends in college because you will find many others with similar interests.
  • College has more people in general and from diverse walks of life. People come from different cultures and have different perspectives. But that’s what makes life interesting! Take it as another learning experience.

The moral of the story

So what’s the take away? Well, college is not only easier than high school, it’s also better. It is better because you now get to call the shots and enjoy the rewards that come with that. The freedom to choose what you learn, having time in your schedule to earn money and have fun too, and overall taking control in your life is both challenging yet rewarding! Going to college is a major period in your life and you will definitely reap the benefits.

Congratulations! Today is your day.
You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.

-Dr. Seuss

Doug Walters

Business Administration, US

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.