The jump from high school (or pre-college in some countries) to varsity is a rather big one which can really knock you off your feet if you’re not prepared. If you thought the workload you were expected to get through in your final high school year was a lot, it comes as somewhat of a shock to the system learning that you’re now suddenly expected to cover that same workload within a matter of less than a semester. There are many other lessons to be learned at varsity though — lessons which go beyond the lecture hall.
Your college years are arguably the one period in your life during which you learn to take responsibility. You’re the only person who’s now fully responsible for your actions, for instance if you’re caught “being naughty” with something like drugs in your possession, you’re likely to face criminal prosecution as opposed to perhaps having your parents called in, in high school. If you skip class as well, which is totally up to you whether or not you attend, you’re the one that has to make sure you’re up-to-date with the work.
Independence is primarily something which is great to have, but when you’re transitioning into being a young adult, independence reveals itself to come with two aspects, the enjoyable bit of it and the not-so-enjoyable part. The enjoyable bit means that you don’t have to answer to any immediate authority, like your parents or your teachers perhaps and you can go to bed if and when you decide. So you’re free. The not-so-enjoyable bit of independence is that you have to deal with the consequences of your choices by yourself, essentially. So you’re free to spend your pocket money or allowance in whatever way you want, for example, but you have no one to really run to should it run out. Perhaps in the beginning you might still have a lifeline to your parents, but at some point you’ll eventually have to go fully independent.
Back in your high school days, pretty much everything was handed to you and your colleagues on a silver platter. Letter circulars went out to your parents announcing everything to do with school life, whereas the onus is now on you to take the initiate if you want to get something done. You need to learn how to talk — go to the admin department of your faculty and ask about what your options are in order to achieve a certain goal, sometimes pre-empting the solution. If bus prices are a bit too much for you, for example, you’re the one who has to go out looking for transport fare discounts which are indeed available for students. You just have to be the one to take the initiative in pretty much all areas of your student life.
Balance and Adaptability
Balance and adaptability are two traits you learn beyond the varsity lecture halls which go hand-in-hand, in that in your strife for a good student life balance you have to learn to be adaptable. One area of your life will suffer somewhat of a shock in order for that area of your life to make space for another aspect.