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Grace Fleming

The Challenge of College

By December 16, 2012

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Students making the transition from high school to college often hear that they will need to study just a little harder and a little smarter with the new demands and expectations. Unfortunately, many students don't really understand how their expectations will change.

Many students take the words of advice to mean simply that college courses are more demanding than high school courses. But what does this really mean? It sounds so vague.

It really means that very specific changes will take place and students must take very specific steps to meet the challenge of college. For instance, the reading materials a student encounters will change because high school textbooks are written by textbook writers. Textbook writers are very good at writing for students in a clear and straightforward manner.

But college students will read materials and books written by professors and other great minds. They will read articles from scholarly journals, and those articles, written by and for professionals, will contain complex concepts and advanced vocabulary. It will be necessary for college students to read over these articles many times to comprehend them.

There are many concrete ways that college study skills will differ from high school study skills. Be prepared, and don't brush aside the advice that you hear from counselors.


February 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm
(1) Holly James says:

Thanks for this article! I’m at my first semester of college in Calgary and I am having a pretty hard time with my work load. I didn’t know it would be so much harder than high school! I wish I had listened to my parents when they told me to take easier classes.

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