25 Differences between School life and College life | Transition from School to College life


School and College, these two words itself sum up a student’s life. Both – even though, are educational institutions – are poles apart. If one is fire, the other is ice. Where a school is about basic discipline, college is all about self-discipline. School perhaps can be said to provide a brief about different careers, while college prepares one for life, in all its various aspects. Here are the major differences between school life and college life.

Differences between School life and College life

1. Teachers

One of the past times in school is the mockery of teachers one couldn’t stand. But, beyond that, the teachers in school actually provide us with everything on a silver platter. In college, though, teachers are replaced by professors, who might assist us, but, one ultimately needs to find their own way through things. Moreover, in school, the teaching itself is quite textual. Classes in college are much more interactive and practical oriented.

2. Assignments

Homework in schools usually is a one-day affair and a lot easier- homework or two in a week and that is it. Assignments in college, however, are a whole different story. Even though one gets a specific date for submission, there are plenty of assignments together. Also, cut-copy-paste just does not suffice. The assignments are more complex than that.

3. Friends

A friendship which is the most significant part of school generally takes a back seat in college. Career takes priority. One meets all sorts of people in college, which is a small glimpse of the outside world. The number of friends also drastically falls from school to college.

4. Class bunks

Bunking classes in school plainly mean going for bathroom breaks and not returning for a while. In college, one can choose to not attend the classes. College gives one the freedom to attend a class or two and bunk others if they want to. One can simply opt to sit in the canteen and not go for the class.

5. Attendance

In school, students mostly have 80% attendance and one never has to keep track of attendance as such. However, in college, each individual subjects have the attendance criteria which the student has to keep a record of. Fulfilling the attendance limit, somehow, becomes a tedious task in college.

6. Breaking Rules

In school, breaking rules is limited to cheating in exams and eating in between classes. College, on the other hand, makes one more daring. Drinking on campus, in classes becomes the new fad.

7. Vacations

During school life, vacations imply long hours of doing nothing or loads of traveling. Vacations in college life, however, are occupied with tuition or internships – hardly giving time to chill.

8. Getting Ready

Getting ready for school is a simple task – wearing the uniform, plaiting the hair and done. Clothes become a big deal in college. One never has enough clothes to wear to college.

9.Exam Preparations

Class test and exams are a big deal in school, and a second/ third time revision is a must. In college, however, one arranges for the notes and syllabus right before the exam. College exam means studying the night before the exam.

10. Backpack

Remember, how heavy our bags used to be in school? As if, it contained tons of bricks. This bag is replaced with a single notebook and a pen. The content of college bag has nothing relating to college actually.

11. Notebooks

A separate notebook for each subject, sometimes a homework copy and different class work copy for a subject, is pretty normal and expected in school. College changes that to one notebook for all the subjects throughout the semester.

12. Food

Food in school means 90% Tiffin and 10% canteen food. In college, all everyone eats is the junk available in canteen and cafes around.

13. Environment

A school has a closed secure environment, whereas, the environment in college is much more open, allowing individuals to do various activities as they like.

14. Competition

In school, competition means getting better marks, better grade. In college, competition expands, i.e. one competes with thousands in one’s career, one’s professional exams, and other competitive exams.

15. Promotion

In school, one will not get promoted to the next class if she fails in a subject. However, in college, one would move up to the next semester even after failing a subject or two. The student gives a back paper of the failed subject in the next semester.

16. Studies

In school, one used to study the basics of everything and sometimes even things that might not even be required in one’s life. In college, studies are more career-oriented.


Self-made notes are the extras required in schools. In college, all one studies are from notes, no textbooks involved. And, photocopying becomes a daily routine in college life.

18. Opportunities

School provides one with little opportunities while college gives one a wide array of all sorts of opportunities. Opportunities in college include various fests, seminars and other events taking place.

19. Experience

The experience in school is limited within the four walls of the institution, whereas college gives us a taste of the real world outside. College is a more nerve-wracking experience as compared to school.

20. Classmates

Knowing and befriending all the classmates is a natural thing in school, whereas, in college one hardly even know the names of all of their classmates.

21. Proxy

This is a totally new concept only in college. Never in school one thinks of giving others’ attendance for them. In college, marking the absent friends present and giving their attendance becomes a common thing.

22. Freedom

College gives one immense freedom in various aspects – be it clothing, participation, acceptance etc. One has the freedom to choose their own subjects, their own courses, etc. Not only that but, the college also allows to live the life as one wishes to. The rules are less as compared to school.

23. Responsibility

With freedom comes great responsibility. College demands much more responsibility. One has to figure everything out oneself and do their work in college. It almost makes one cower away, for, in school, we were spoon-fed. The responsibility increases by ten folds.

24. Goals

The major goal in school is to get better marks and get into the best college. In college, the goal is broader than that. The goal is to become the best in one’s chosen profession and build a good career for oneself.

25. Individual changes

Life in general changes a lot, the individuals themselves change a lot. Where school always had a homey feel, college is anything but. Nothing prepares one enough for these changes, for the college life. One of the major challenges is in fact, accepting these changes.

School is a home away from home, a shelter from the reality, a safe place. College, in all its terrifying glory, makes one an adult in the actual sense. It shapes not only one’s future but the individuals themselves. College prepares one for the world outside, the real world. In spite of all this, however, college is an exhilarating experience to live through.