How is University different to High School?

Monday, January 15, 2018
6 Differences Between University and High School

University is a very different environment to school. One major difference is how you’ll interact with your University lecturer as opposed to your high school teacher. You spend a lot more time with your school teachers and their job is to teach you and guide you through your classes and study. University Lecturers and Professors are there to teach you but they are not there to keep you on top of your work and mark off what homework you have completed. It is important to remember that when you get to University you are an adult and you are expected to motivate yourself and take initiative in your classes and study, to succeed.

1. Teaching Practices
Lecturers are trained experts in their particular area and don’t always have a ‘teaching’ qualification. They are constantly researching and furthering their knowledge and skills. The learnings from their knowledge gathering is passed onto their students to ensure you are also familiar with the latest innovations and advancements. Their primary focus is on knowing their area of expertise and staying current based on other research and discoveries, which enables them to inspire and develop future professionals in that area.

School teachers have been trained to use certain teaching methods so their students achieve certain curriculum outcomes. They use a variety of teaching methods for different subjects and they are there to make sure you understand the concepts and to keep you on top of the work you need to do in each class and for the next class.

2. Communication
Communicating with your lecturers is different to how you communicate with your teachers.

In school, you usually ask all your questions to the teacher when you are in class and you see them every day.

At Uni, you don’t usually have the opportunity to ask questions during a lecture and you won’t see your lecturers every day. You will however attend tutorials in addition to lectures and tutorial times are for interaction, so you can ask questions more freely. You can always email your lecturer for more specific questions or talk to the discipline secretaries for more guidance.

3. Homework
Lecturers are there to present knowledge to you but don’t expect them to be reminding you that your homework is due. School teachers are there to help you organise your work and to prioritise study time.

Lecturers will not prompt you all the time about your upcoming assignments or tests or mark off that you have done your homework and keep you on schedule to completing your assignments. It is your responsibility to organise your time and hand everything in when it is due. And be sure to be on schedule to avoid penalties.

4. Parents
When you are at school, your parents have a lot to do with most things that happen. They pay your fees, they get your reports and are involved in parent teacher interviews about your performance at school.

It is actually quite the opposite when you go to Uni. University staff can’t talk to your parents or guardians unless you have given your consent. You are the main point of contact and will be notified about your fees, grades and performance in your subjects. If you miss any due date for your assignments, your Uni won’t call your parents to let them know you have failed to hand something in. Unless you have applied for an extension you will lose marks for assignments that are handed in late.

5. Attendance
School attendance is compulsory and if you miss class your parents will be notified. Attendance at lectures are not always compulsory at Uni. A lot of the class presentations will be uploaded on the Uni’s online learning portal so if you miss a class you can just catch up on what was presented in the lecture you missed. Just be careful not to miss all your classes as some tutorial classes are compulsory and you can lose marks if you miss too many tutorial classes. Tutorials are classes where students present assignments and homework and participate in important class discussions. For your own success, you don’t want to miss class at all, so try not to miss any.

6. Support
There might be many differences from school to Uni but there are still support networks at Uni to help you when you need it whether it is academic help, mental support or even spiritual guidance. Avondale has a lot of different support networks to lean into, while you study. Don’t be afraid to find where the tutors are on campus, or where the Counsellor’s office is, if things are getting too much. There are people and departments there to support you and offer guidance.

The Avondale Difference!
I may have made Uni sound daunting and scary, and for some it can be. But, at Avondale, we are a small institution built to support our students. You’re not a number and unlike big Unis, you will speak to your lecturer (and even the Head of Discipline)! They care about your experience and your learning and often have time to meet one-on-one to assist you with your study.

Embrace the experience and give it everything you’ve got. Make the most of your classes, the knowledge you absorb and the skills you learn and allow it to broaden your horizons.

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