Is it normal my first year of college was easy?

I always expected college to be drastically more difficult than highschool. Partially due to how teacher's made it sound at the time but also due to the obvious statement that college is higher up the educational ladder.

Obviously I had ups and downs, but for the most part I was able to get by rather easily. I'm not complaining but I'd love to know if other university students had similar experiences for their first year.

Is It Normal?
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  • Think back to how you were at the age when you started primary school. If you'd been dumped straight into a sixth-grade, you would have found it kinda challenging, right? And it was the same with how you were at the end of primary school and the final year of high school, right?

    Education should be progressive, and if you found the first year of college moderately challenging but not stressfully so, that just means that the college has pitched its freshman classes correctly, and also that you actually paid attention in high school and learned some stuff (probably - most importantly - how to learn stuff), and you weren't just handed a graduation certificate because the teachers wanted to get rid of you.

    It's possible that you're one of those fortunate people who can absorb new concepts and information easily, and has no problems integrating that with what you already understand. It's possible that, if you continue to conscientiously apply yourself, your perceived level of difficulty as you go through college will remain pretty much the same, even as the work you're doing becomes progressively more complex. But you might want to bear in mind that you could hit walls along your way towards graduation; there could be things that you just don't get, for one reason or another. Higher education should be challenging and demand growth. If it didn't, a college degree would have as much significance as a kindergarten completion certificate.

    I don't know where you live, but in the UK, something that a lot of young people have difficulty with when they transition from secondary school to higher education is that there's no more hand-holding. Students are told what they need to learn, and they're provided with the resources that will allow them to do that in the form of lectures, labs or whatever, but it's all on them to actually do the necessary work. Lecturers don't take attendance, so you get no Brownie points for just showing up. Pop quizzes aren't a thing in British universities, so you get no points for regurgitating facts you've just been told. While staff (should) be available to talk to you if you're having problems with something on the curriculum, nobody proactively asks if you're having difficulties. Basically, you're treated like a responsible adult rather than a kid.

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  • The first college class I ever took was an English class where I had to do a lot of writing. I really enjoyed the class, and made an A.

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  • My first year was back in 2014 and I actually found the work easier than sixth form, even though it was more advanced I preferred the structure of university.

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  • My 1st year was also easy... all the introduction courses.

    My last 2 years were very demanding in Engineering College (and my last year I took several advanced classes aimed at people working on their Masters). For my last semester I never even went out on a Friday night or weekend because I was studying...

    I did graduate with honors... but worked very hard to do so.

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  • Did you like high school?

    I hated high school but loved college. The opposite is usually true, too- if you love high school, you will hate college.

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  • Maybe you got lucky with good professors. Maybe the courses you are taking are easy. Maybe you're actually good at what you are learning, and that helps you learn it better.

    It's not supposed to be impossible, but it shouldn't be a cake walk. Good luck for next year.

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