University – What Is It Like?
Many of you may be considering going into university after you finish high school, however a lot of you may be wondering what is university like, how will you know it is something for you because university is not for everyone.
How is high school similar to university?
- Assessments – in most units you will complete an in-semester assignment and at the end of the semester you will sit an exam.
- Lecturer and tutor – there are lecturers and tutors present who take you through the course content and can be a point of contact for you.
- Structure—you still have a timetable to follow, specific subjects and classes to attend.
- Social aspect—uni is great for meeting new people, making friends in and out of class, and hanging out! There are always heaps of clubs and societies you can join, including sports, visual and performing arts, and more.
- Support services—just like high schools, universities tend to look after their students pretty well, providing academic, financial, career, mental health and other types of services. You’ll be treated as an adult, but that doesn’t mean adults don’t need help too!
How is high school different to university?
- Class size – depending on the course you are taking lectures can have more than 100 students in them. You average high school class size is around 25 students, whereas there are uni tutorials that have around 15-20 students in them.
- Independence – you are in control in university. Nobody is going to tell you to complete your work. Academics will give you the dates of what assessments you need to do and when they are due at the beginning of the semester and it is up to you to do the work and hand it in on time.
- HECS – going to university will cost you money and if you are an Australian citizen you can take out a HECS/HELP loan from the government to cover the cost of your degree. This loan will be paid when you do your taxes and reach a certain income threshold.
- Timetable – you are in control of your timetable. You can schedule your classes early in the morning or in late in the afternoon.
- Less contact hours – depending on the course that you do you will most likely have less contact hours at university than you do at high school.
- Attendance – attendance is generally not monitored like it is in high school. You are expected to turn up to lectures and tutorials however you don’t have to. In some courses, attendance at tutorials is compulsory.
- Recorded lectures – in most courses lectures are recorded and placed online for students to listen if they missed the class or to re-listen again for private revision.
The best way to out more about university life or to learn more about a certain course that you want to do at university is to attend university open days.
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