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19 Ways College is Totally Different than High School


There’s no denying that some girls in high school simply “ruled the school,” that parents could be a total buzz-kill when it came to curfews and that an 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. school day was the worst thing ever invented (like, ever). Whether you’re a soon-to-be collegiette who can’t wait to get out of the social caste system of high school or whether you are a current collegiette wanting to remember just what high school really was like, you need to check out this list of ways college isn’t like high school.

1. People don’t care how popular you were in high school

Think you’re going to impress anyone with your old homecoming queen crown? Think again. People who weren’t necessarily Queen Bees in high school now have free reign in college!

2. Professors have no problem assigning you a billion-page reading in a single night

No, there may not be a pop quiz on the reading the next day, but yes, you will fail your next exam if you don’t keep up (and in college, failing the exam basically means failing the entire class. Hello, only three grades in an entire semester).

3. College football games are like high school football games on steroids

Anything goes on game day (and we mean anything).

4. No one cares what you wear to class

Say goodbye to getting all dolled up for the school day! If you really think people are going to dress in anything but sweatpants and leggings for an 8:00 a.m. class, you’ve got another think coming.

5. Extra-credit opportunities are better than Christmas gifts


6. Being ditzy isn’t funny, charming or cute anymore

You and the people around you are all paying (or taking loans for) what is likely an enormous amount of tuition money for one purpose: to get educated. Your classmates (and profs!) are not going to appreciate it—or think you’re funny—if you turn the class into a joke.

7. You can let your true personality shine

In high school you walk the halls trying to fit in and do everything possible to not stand out. In college, you can just let all that go and be who you really are.

8. Guys want more than just good looks

Don’t bank on Mr. and Mrs. Popular hitting it off once you’re on campus. College guys want girls with more to offer than just social status (as in a good sense of humor, a solid head on her shoulders and a passion for something!). You’ll want the same from them, too.

9. No. More. Parental. Supervision.

Hello, no more curfews.

10. Cliques are old-school

Remember how the high school cafeteria was divided by friend group -- and you knew exactly where the cool people sat? Not so much in college! Whether it’s because the students matured or they just realized that constantly surrounding themselves with the same people could get a little old, people in college want to get to know new people. Finally!

11. There’s a group on campus to satisfy everyone’s interests

Not into sororities? Sports not your thing? Don’t worry. At college, Quidditch clubs, Zombie Apocalypse Prevention groups and even Squirrel clubs are totally, totally normal (we aren’t kidding).

12. People want friends with actual interests, not just social goals

College students can instantly tell if you’re a social climber (as in, you meet someone, take a picture with them, post it to Instagram and then never interact in person ever again). Take the time to actually share your thoughts, interests and hobbies with the people you meet -- the quality of your friends will be much better!

13. Eight-hour school days are a thing of the past

You don’t realize how terrible long school days are until you get to college. Once you get to college, you’ll never, ever want to go back.

14. And skipping class? Not a problem

With most college professors not even taking attendance regularly, skipping is a whole lot easier than it was in high school (you know, the days of forged notes from your mom to get you out of chemistry). While we don’t recommend it, we can’t say no to a Netflix-and-nap day every now and then...

15. In college, girls will stand up to you like it’s nobody’s business

This isn’t high school anymore. Many girls have grown out of their shells, found their voices and are refusing to be told where their place is (you go, girls!).

16. Friday and Saturday aren’t the only days of the week you go out

Yes, it’s a Tuesday. Yes, we will use Drake lyrics to caption our Insta pics. So what?

17. You show off your school pride like it’s your job

True, the apparel at the campus bookstore is ridiculously overpriced, but how else are you going to fit into the sea of people all dressed head to toe in your school’s colors?

18. You will really learn the definition of “communal”

As in bathrooms, showers and dorms. You name it, you probably share it with at least 20 other people.

19. You would take college over high school any day of the week

Because things like this can, and really do, happen.


College is nothing like high school. While these changes are usually ones that people love (no curfew, parents or rules!), they also mean that many girls have adjustments to make. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into so you don’t end up in high school, round two! 

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