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Finally, you’re finished school! It’s been a long few years, and you’ve been chomping at the bit to get out and get on to university. And now you’re there, and you find it’s a very different place to school. Some things are unexpected and to your liking; others less so.

1. There are loads more people to date

Schools are limited in numbers, but universities are huge. In Australia, Monash University is one of the largest, with over 56,000 students. Close are the University of Sydney and Curtin University with 48,000 apiece, and RMIT with nearly 47000. Even the smaller universities in Australia, like Ballarat, has 13,000 students. That’s a whole lot more people to hook up with, and the only time you’ll ever be in such a crush with so many people of a similar age to you. That’s why university is such fertile (ahem) ground for picking a partner.

The largest school in Australia, Glenunga International High school, on the other hand, can only accommodate 1,700 students. Next largest, St Michael’s College, has an intake of just over 1,600. You get the picture. Between the largest school and the smallest university there’s a nearly 12,000 difference in student bodies (so to speak). So make the most of your time at university, because you will never have so many potential partners to choose from ever again.

2. No one babies you

At school, you’re in a “safe” environment. The teachers are your guardians and you’re under their care. Got a problem with another kid, a bully maybe? Go see the teacher. Haven’t done your homework? Take a sick note to the teacher and get an extension. You really are mollycoddled.

At university, you’re on your own. You’re a grown up now, and no-one is going to baby you. Forgot to do your assignment? Too bad. You get a fail.(Unless you can get an essay writing company to do it in 3 hours or less) Perhaps you overslept due to a rough night on the town. Your mom can’t phone in to get you off the hook. Tough. You’re a university student and responsible for your own education now.

3. There’s no structure

For years and years, you woke up at the same time, put on the same uniform and arrived at the same place. The bell rang; the whole school took breaks at the same time. A certain day was assigned for assemblies. Everybody knew the drill, so to speak. It was all very familiar and structured. You didn’t need much self-discipline because there are rules that prescribed exactly what you did, when and how.

At university, the day is yours to do what you want with. There’s no structure other than the one you decide for yourself. There are no assemblies, and your break is after your lecture. Or, if you decide not to go to lectures the whole day, the entire day is your break.

You now need self-discipline if you’re going to pass your courses. It’s up to you to rock up at your lectures; no one’s going to chivvy you along. You have to know for yourself how to obtain your degree.

4. You can’t rag the teachers

At school, you’re allowed to be immature and tease the teachers –if you don’t go too far. It’s part of being an adolescent, pushing boundaries and all that.

When you get to university, you’re supposed to have gotten past your adolescent stage and you should now be ‘mature’. This means you’re expected to have adult relationships with other adults, in this case, your lecturers. No more fooling around in class and playing silly. It doesn’t wash anymore.

5. You can choose your own timetable (to an extent)

A few university courses have set timetables, but with most you can pick and choose what time you want to do which course.

This can be a real boon if, for example, you’re a late sleeper. Just pick courses that begin after 10 o clock. Want to have your afternoons free to go home and nap? Pick courses that end at lunchtime. You can’t do that at school. Whatever time school starts, you have to be there.


School and university are very different experiences. If you thrived at school, it may take time to adapt to university. You will though. Enjoy!