College is really similar to high school. People are more mature and everyone has more money/mobility, but unlike life outside of college, hundreds of people are forced into different situations, where as after college, people usually do things that they want to do (for the most part). Because of the forcing function, I feel that people change much more during college than after. After college, things slow down (for most, I would argue) and you settle into a routine that you have total control over. In college, you have other forces steering the wheel with you, and because of that you can be less careful in college (as the trouble you can get into has a bit less consequences). Once you graduate college and go into the work force, there are more direct consequences for each action. If you miss a deadline for a project, it’s a bigger deal. If you anger your project partners, it’s a bigger deal. College has more safe guards whereas at work, you can get fired at almost anytime (I work in a at-will-employment state, so for me, I can get fired at anytime for any reason).
Having said that, I was a bad student in college. I spent not enough time studying and too much time reading books and playing video games. Part of it was due to an episode of depression, but no matter, I could’ve done better. Once I got to the workforce, well, I did much better. It was helpful that I had a great, understanding manager, but I worked much harder and I haven’t yet received anything but “good grades” in my career (once a year, there’s a performance review, where your manager gives you a grade and tells you how you’re doing).
The way I see it college can help people adjust to the workforce. If you look at schooling as a step function, you have the most amount of safe guards and the least approximation to your future job in elementary school. You get more safe guards and you get a little closer to your career in middle school. A little more in high school. Then a bit more in college, then you reach your workforce destination. There are people that jump from high school to the work force, but the jobs you can usually get with just a high school degree expect a certain level of maturity less than the jobs you get with a college degree.
Anyways, I think I’m rambling. I hope this was helpful!
It's disappointing, but degrees have simply lost a lot of value over the years.
In college you have a lot more room to make mistakes and make up than in your career. For example, you can’t just skip meetings and miss work like you can afford to miss class. Your boss will not be as patient or understanding as your professors might have been with regard to missed deadlines. You can’t just switch careers on a whim like you can with your major. There are more serious consequences in the work environment than in college.
As for adult life, I can now pretty much count on a static 9-5 type of workday Monday-Friday, which has given my life a lot more structure and reliability. The lack of social responsibilities that adults have on the weekend compared to college students is also a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. Overall, I would say the biggest difference that you will observe is just a general lack of stability when you are following a college schedule.
College is very similar to real life, especially if you work while attending. The biggest thing you will learn is that no one is going to "force" you to go to class. This is similar to real life, and will help prepare you for the real world. No one will "force" you to go to work, etc.
College is a phase of life wherein you experience more responsibilities, I believe college experience is your preparation to the "real" life. How you work in your college days, the behaviors and principles you have will greatly influence and reflect to what we called "real" life. Actually college is part of the real life. Haha. The experience and responsibilities will elevate as you progress in life.
College and the season after college (the rest of life) are quite different. There are several things you will have to take care of after college for which most students do not need to be responsible, namely, finances. You may be one of those warriors who are working full time while getting a degree and going to classes. If you are, you probably won't need my advice. If you are like most of the people in college, you got loans, or your family is paying your way. If you are part of the latter two groups, the need for finances could possible hit you like a cold glass of water in the face. There will come a time when you need to provide a living for yourself.
A full time or a part time job can be a little more challenging in many ways. Missing a day can have higher stakes than missing a class, and when your livelihood depends on it, it can be more important to be present and active. Life seems to get really focused on finances after school, and getting ready for the responsibility mentally and financially before hand can really be helpful.
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College is a platform that prepares us when we step outside for the real life. Let's say if you choose the right course you really wanted to be when you graduate, handling the tasks or responsibilities that will be given to you when you are already working will not be that hard for you. You can now apply all the theories taught to you during your undergrad and appreciate everything.
However, working in real life is sort of more stricter than in College. Whatever you do inside the company you are working on will affect it directly or indirectly, hence, the tolerance for errors is set to the lowest. Do not worry too much though as most of the companies in real life have set controls already to detect and prevent errors to occur.
Despite of all of this, working in real life could be REALLY FUN too just like in your college days. You will meet different kind of people in the workplace and will make working less complicated and really enjoyable. :D
I hope I was able to give you some idea about the real life. :)