What to Expect in College

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The transition from high school to college is often one of the most difficult ones a person will experience in their lifetime, at least from an academic standpoint. There are a lot of new experiences and expectations that every new student will need to be aware of.

Class Sizes

Your first day at college will be full of excitement and apprehension of things to come. One of the largest changes at this level of education is the class sizes. In your first couple of years, you will be one of as many as 600 students in one class. In the later years, these can be cut down to fewer than 30. Obviously, in lecture halls this large, you won’t have much opportunity to ask questions or participate in discussions, so the class size also means you’ll need to adapt your learning style and set aside time later to ask questions during office hours or send your professor an email.

Evaluation Methods

In high school, there is an extensive amount of homework and practice questions, commonly referred to as busywork. This is essentially eliminated in college, as you’ll be evaluated mainly by tests and large assignments. Some courses will have weekly or biweekly quizzes, but the majority of your grade will be determined by a small selection of evaluations.

Personal Responsibility

The transition that gets most students in trouble is the amount of personal responsibility you suddenly acquire. There will be no one making sure you attend class, take high-quality notes, or complete your assignments. Instead, you will be responsible for regulating your own education and learning. It is easy to let this freedom sway you from your responsibilities, so you’ll have to manage your schedule and free time responsibly.


While college campuses are not as large as university ones, they are still a long way off from the single building campus a high school graduate has become accustomed to. You’ll likely have multiple buildings on campus that are occupied by a certain academic sector. Each year of students will attend campus in the same buildings, and the sheer number of rooms on campus means you should expect to get lost at least a handful of times as you learn.

To learn more about college standards and what to expect, ask the experts at Bredin College.

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