High School vs. College: 7 Shocking Differences You Should Know

By: Ryan Poppie Reading Time: 3 minutes

High School vs College DormTopper Man Writing on his notebook

As you near the end of high school, it’s exciting to think about what the upcoming months will bring, like shopping for your dorm room, meeting your roommate, and getting your class schedule. Since there are big differences between high school vs. college, it’s also a good idea to take some time to mentally prepare for the changes ahead.

Identifying What’s Different Between High School vs. College

When it comes to high school vs. college life, different students may handle the changes differently. Some may excel being on their own while some may be intimidated and take a while to adjust. Knowing what to expect may help.


In high school, you see your teachers every day and interact with them closely. In college, you may see your professors a couple of times a week, and if it’s a large class, you may need to make an appointment to speak with them. It’s important that you learn how to take the initiative and let your teacher know if you’re having issues with coursework.


In high school, you’re likely to be able to finish an assignment during class, in study hall or a brief hour in the evening at home. College assignments are often lengthy and require you to spend many hours gathering credible information. No matter how excited you are about social activities in college, be sure to reserve enough time on your calendar to focus on completing school work and studying.


You’ve gotten to know your high school buds throughout the past four years – some of them since kindergarten. High school life vs. college life is different because you have to make an effort to meet new people and form new friendships. If you’re shy or reserved, challenge yourself to meet one new person in each class and join a club. It will make your new home less lonely.

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In high school, your parents remind you to get to bed on a school night, not to forget your backpack, and in many cases, still, do your laundry. College is different from high school because it’s up to you to keep it all together. You’re in charge of getting enough sleep so you can focus in class, remembering all your books and (gasp!) washing your own clothes. In these last weeks of high school and over the summer, start doing more for yourself, so it’s not such a shock when you’re on your own.

Your Future; Senior vs. Senior

By your last year of high school, your main focus is to decide on the college you wish to attend, and possibly on choosing a major. You know you still have time to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. But there’s a big difference in high school grads vs. college grads. By your senior year in college, things get real. Your major, your GPA, and your resume are all you have to prove to employers that you’re the best candidate for them. Make it your goal throughout your college career to make your transcripts and resume impressive.


In high school, you can study in your bedroom at home, alone, and your parents are likely to keep you from going out with friends on a weeknight when you have school the next day. In college, you have to find opportunities for quiet time at the library or hope that your roommate will respect that you need to concentrate. You also have to be disciplined enough to focus on school work instead of being tempted to skip it for social time. Plan now to find alternative study areas on campus where you can concentrate, and keep in mind that academics should always come before social life.


There’s no place like home, especially when it comes to your own cozy bed. Sleeping in a new place isn’t always easy, and dorm mattresses tend to be straight out of a scene from Goldilocks: too hard, too soft, or too lumpy. Plan to take a mattress topper with you that gives your bed the comfort of home so you can get enough rest to keep your grades up.

Take the Comfort of Home With You

As you gather things, you’ll need for your dorm room, check out the DormTopper mattress topper. It has a silky bamboo quilted surface that wicks away moisture and is ultra breathable, hypo-allergenic, mold, and odor-resistant. With gel-infused cooling foam for cushioning and support, you’ll never know you’re on an old, musty dorm mattress.

The #1 Dorm Essential


About Ryan Poppie

Ryan Poppie, President and Chief Bedmaker at The Beloit Mattress Company. He's not just a mattress maker but a true expert in sleep. Leading a 4th generation family business, Ryan uses his deep sleep knowledge to ensure every mattress made gives his customers the best rest possible. Each custom mattress is handcrafted to show his love for sleep and how it can improve our lives. With his team, Ryan's passion is to improve your quality of life through a better night's sleep.

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