How was middle school for you
School vs. everyday student life: that will change for you
From class to lecture hall: what will change for you
You're an old hand at learning. After all, by the time you start your studies, you have generally already had 12 years of school behind you. Nevertheless, there are worlds between school and studies - and it helps to be mentally prepared for the biggest changes. We have therefore written down the ten most important differences for you.
1. The (learning) planning
You are used to fixed timetables and schedules from school. You will be assigned your subjects, and you will also be told when you have to finish which homework and when which exam is due. In the course of studies it usually looks different: It is up to you to take the right courses, meet (registration) deadlines and organize your learning. So more responsibility - but also more freedom.
2. The "class strength"
School classes usually have around 30 students. The teachers know each and every one of them and try to "take everyone with them" and encourage them as best as possible. At universities there are often hundreds of students attending a lecture. The lecturers often have little opportunity to take care of everyone personally. Then you need to be proactive: if you take part, you will attract attention - and if you need information or help, you can talk to your professors yourself.
3. The level of activity
Teachers generally make sure that learning and work phases alternate and that you can try out and do as much as possible yourself. This is called "action-oriented teaching" Many lectures tend to be passive during your studies. Then it's less about trying out and doing and more about listening, taking notes and later learning again (by heart). For the shy, this may even be very reassuring - and if you have a bad day, you probably just like to listen without having to get involved.
4. The reading workload
There are some required reading at school. Anyone who groans will be surprised at the university:
Here you will have to read a lot of (technical) books in a very short time.
Then you will be an expert in fast and cross-reading.
5. The housework
Typical homework probably looks like this to you: "Solve task 5 a to c.", "Read pp 112-130." or "Write an essay on the subject of XY." In the course of study, term papers are usually much more extensive. You should submit what has been written page by page - and then all of it according to the exact form specifications. In scientific work, from the correct references to the width of the margin, even the smallest details count. In return, you have already mastered all the essentials inside out when it comes to your thesis
6. The exams
You already know tests, exams and an oral final exam from school. The course takes the whole thing to a completely new level. Presentations to more than a hundred fellow students (of whom you don't even know all) or the oral defense of your Bachelor thesis in front of several professors are a good size bigger. But you've also developed quite a bit.
7. The vacation
Unless you use the time for a part-time job, you actually have the school holidays free. At universities, on the other hand, "lecture-free time" does not mean that you don't have your hands full: Mini-jobs, housework, internships or simply catching up on learning material ensure that many students still do a lot of work during their supposed holidays.
8. The finances
When you are at school, you wonder whether you have enough pocket money at the end of the month to go partying, and you are probably just looking for a job to do something special. As a student it will probably be different: you pay the rent for a room or an entire apartment, buy your own food (or leave money in the canteen every day) and have various new editions from specialist books to telephone and internet. You see money with completely different eyes - and you are probably very happy about a "permanent" part-time job.
9. The budget
Many students move out of their homes to study and take a room or rent an apartment. When mom and dad are suddenly gone, you take care of your household. From washing clothes to shopping, a lot comes together. More responsibility and more housework for more independence and freedom - the bottom line is usually a very good deal.
10. The decisions
If the choice of your advanced courses has been difficult for you and you have felt 100 gray hairs over it, you can practice making decisions in your studies again in detail. From the focus of your studies and your course composition to the choice of your internship, you will always make decisions here that are important for your career. Often it is really "about the sausage" - but also making decisions becomes easier over time
Very important: stay relaxed!
Before you bury your study plans with the sweat of fear on your forehead because everything sounds so new, different and difficult: take a deep breath and relax. The course brings a lot of changes - but after the settling-in period, most students get along just fine.
Lectures, homework and having your own household on top of that may sound heavy at first. But how do grandmas and grandpas always like to say? "You grow with your challenges." So don't go crazy and just trust that you will grow into student life. Look forward to what lies ahead - after all, there are a lot of positive changes waiting for you. And there must be good reasons for so many describing their studies as "the time of their lives"!
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