Throughout high school, my classmates and I were told horror stories about the stark contrast between high school and college. We were told that our professors would be hateful and unapproachable, our classes would be so large and rigid that we wouldn’t be able to ask questions, and there would be so many other people on campus that we would simply blend into the crowd. While this may be the case for other college campuses, I have been fortunate enough to have a much different experience here at UT Dallas.
Of course there are some obvious differences between my high school career and my experience here at UT Dallas. Arguably, the biggest difference is that I pay to go here. For most of us, the high tuition rate makes us more accountable for our studies. This means that the “class clowns” and other distractions that were common throughout high school are pretty much nonexistent here.
Another big difference is the lack of homework assignments. In high school we were given loads of homework along with multiple quizzes and tests so that we would have multiple opportunities to raise our grades. College is the complete opposite of that. In most of my classes, I’m only given two tests that combined are worth nearly half of my grade. This means that as college students, we are expected to study independently and be thoroughly prepared for each of our assignments.
Although there are many differences between the high school and college experiences, in many ways, the two are similar. From the experiences I’ve had so far, I’ve been able to conclude that most of the professors here at UT Dallas are extremely kind and approachable. Those that I’ve had over this first semester have reminded me of my high school teachers in that they are really eager to help their students.
Also, with the small class sizes, we have the opportunity to be active participants in lectures. We are also able to communicate with both our classmates and our professors on a level in which we probably wouldn’t be able to if we were in a huge class of hundreds of students. This being the case, we aren’t forced to just blend into the crowd.
The experiences I’ve had over these first few months as a college student have proven that the horror stories about college aren’t all so true. At UT Dallas, I have the unique experience of both being regarded as an adult and expected to be responsible, all while being instructed by nurturing faculty that help us easily make the transition from high school to college.