The difference between study at university and school

An image of University of Kent students studying.When I was coming to university I personally heard various stories about the workload and expectations of university study, however, after experiencing it for myself I have come to the following five main conclusions:

1. After the gruelling two years of hard work at sixth form, first year content at university seems to be the same and so first year seems easier than A-levels as you know a lot of the knowledge already. It may vary between courses but that’s what I have found.

2. Although workload may seem easier, help is more limited in comparison to school. This is because despite sixth form requiring independence compared to previous years of school, university is a whole another level of independence – in all areas. You’ll find yourself making decisions that you’ve never made before such as whether your pink and white socks go in the white wash or the colour wash when your mum isn’t answering her phone. Don’t be put off by this though as help is there when you ask for it, it’s just you are required to be more proactive.

3. Assignments are rarely looked at before you hand them in. Giving your draft to your teacher is a thing of the past. This isn’t the end of the world though as you have to be confident that you managed to get into uni and so you are most likely capable of handling the assignment tasks too.

4. The two points above link with the fact that there are much less contact hours at Uni than at school. Looking on the bright side of this is that you get to have more lie ins. Depending on your degree of course but you tend to have a maximum three-four hours of lectures/seminars per day.

5. Lastly, you appreciate the easy life of a singular textbook providing you with the whole subject content and everything you need to know in order to get a good grade. There are recommended textbooks at uni, however, you will be required to carry out a lot more wider reading and so you will most likely have to find various books on for example; international business to be able to write about different perspectives required for your essay or exam. This seems like a lot of hard work at first but you learn how to sift through the information.

Overall, although I would dread the thought of re-doing my A-level exams, some things were a lot easier in terms of how much guidance we received.

This post is by Kasia Makuch