High School vs. College: The Contrast

Category: School, Teacher
Last Updated: 07 Dec 2022
Pages: 4 Views: 80

After four grueling years in that beloved institution where we spend the free and happy days of our unraveling lives, the high school, we are directed to climb a higher level of education called college. However, with its very high college dropout rate, most of America’s youth never know the difference anymore.

Nevertheless, there are several points of comparison and contrast between the two education levels. The identification of these contrasts can be a necessary tool to aid those who have decided to take on an extra mile by pursuing a degree (Breitspecher, 2006).

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Personal Freedom

Let us start drawing contrasts between high school and college in the aspect of personal freedom. Basically, high school is compulsory because it is usually offered free of charge. We really have no choice but to pursue high school, if we want to be called normal. However, pursuing the next level, which is college, is a prerogative.

This is especially true in the US, where the number of those who pursue college is dwindling. A probable reason for this is the more difficult and serious nature of the college level, and the escalating costs that it requires of those who dream of it (Murray State University, 2006).

Further, the two has a contrast in terms of personal freedom in the sense of management, be it in time, finances, and activities. In high school, we usually live with our parents, and are therefore subject to their rules and regulations, which may involve curfews.

Our teachers and the school administration are also in control of our time as we are basically given time schedules, and we are supposed to merely follow suit. For whatever activities we may want to join in, we must first ask the permission of our parents, and the school asks for their permission if they are school-based activities. Along with joining any activity, the money we will be needing for finance must be asked from our parents, and in that way, we are restricted to their bidding (Murray State University, 2006).

In college, people usually move out and live on their own. Then, we are left to do as we choose to. However, this independence is accompanied by certain responsibilities, moral, and economic restrictions. For one, we are free to join any activity of our choice.

However, we are also held responsible for the consequences of our choices. We are also left on our own to spend our money for whatever purposes, but we are also held responsible to pay for our bills and purchase our basic necessities (Murray State University, 2006).

Essentially, these contrasts on personal freedom stem from the society’s growing expectations for us. In high school, we are deemed in need of guidance so our parents direct, and in that sense control, our everyday details. In college, we are expected to have learned from our high school experiences, and mature enough to act responsibly when left on our own.

As quoted from the movie Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” College sure endows us with some degree of power over our own lives, but a great deal of responsibility comes along with it (Murray State University, 2006).


The second aspect in which high school can be contrasted with college is in the conduct of the classes. In high school, we are given class schedules, which consists of consecutive classes with minimal break times. In a week, the hours we spend attending those classes sum up to 30 hours, and this extend to 26 weeks.

Classes are often in terms of one whole school year, wherein the teacher will closely monitor attendance, and matters of delinquency must be settled. We typically have around 35 classmates to endure the entire year with. We are also usually given the books we will need, and we are only concerned with passing our subjects, not graduating from high school because it is almost a sure thing (Murray State University, 2006).

In college, things take on a different twist. You usually decide which subject you will take when, and thereby design your own time schedule. Only around 12 to 16 hours are spent inside the classrooms, and they can be during the evenings, typically sandwiched between vacant hours. However, these improvements are to serve the purpose of lightening the heavy coursework that college requires.

Classes also practically last only half of the academic year, as the academic year is divided into two semesters. Knowing your classmates will be difficult since a class usually consists of 75 to a hundred students. You will have to allocate your allowance well or find extra source of finances since you will be expected to provide your own books, which will usually cost a lot. Attendance is not usually monitored, but your mentors expect you to know everything that’s going on in class.

You must also work your way through graduation and device ways and means on how to satisfy the graduation requirements of your degree, unlike in high school where everything is almost a given and all you had to do is wait for the graduation ball (Murray State University, 2006).


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High School vs. College: The Contrast. (2016, Jun 29). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/high-school-vs-college-the-contrast/

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