The Differences Between School and College

January 10, 2019

Written by Kate Whetton, A Level Student

While the purpose of school and College is the same – to educate you! – it often feels like they are worlds away. This may seem scary when you first start at College, but within a couple of weeks you will adapt, and realise that College is actually far better than school! Here’s why:

You get treated like an adult
While you (most likely) won’t turn 18 until your second year at College, you are treated like an adult from your first day. Although this means you are responsible for your own work ethic, it gives you a lot of independence. You can also wear what you want (within reason), and you call your lecturers by their first name rather than ‘Miss’ or ‘Sir’ – and generally the teachers are a lot less strict than at school because in their eyes you’re are not a child any more.

You can come and go as you want
So long as you don’t miss any of your timetabled lessons, you can spend as much of your free time at College as you want. A lot of people choose to stay on and spend time with friends, or catch up on work in the library. But you have the flexibility to go home during your breaks if you want, and some people only come in for lessons. Whichever way works for you!

More facilities
Unlike school, you are not restricted in your use of facilities. The cafes are all open to everyone, the gym is available to all (during set times throughout the week), the opening times in the campus libraries are great. You can access computers whenever you need to, as well as places to chill and work.

Lessons are… quite different
At HSDC (at least for A Level students) lessons are typically longer than they were at school. For each subject, you have two two-hour lessons and one one-hour lesson per week for each subject, this means five hours a week dedicated to each subject, and 16 hours spent in lessons if you include your weekly tutor hour.

The people you meet
You may think that starting College is a scary experience; you may even worry that you won’t make friends – but this is far from the truth. If anything, the friends you make at College and the bonds you form are so much stronger than the ones you develop at school. You meet people who you have so much more in common with, either because they have a similar work ethic to you, because you have a related career goal, or just because you have the same interests. Spending time with your friends at College honestly makes your time there so much more worthwhile and enjoyable.

A chance to study something new
For me, one of the best differences between school and College is that you have the opportunity to study something that you never have before; be that an A Level subject in something your school didn’t offer, or a BTEC course in a specific field. These options make your academic studies more interesting and can give you a really good insight into what you want to do when you finish College.

In summary, College is very different to school but once you are enrolled here you will realise that these changes are all positive! College is really enjoyable, not just in terms of your education but also for your experience as a student.

This article was written by Kate Whetton, a second year A Level Student who studies Psychology, History and Geography. Kate was formerly a student at Horndean Technology College.