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How is college different to school?

A large group of students posing for a photo pulling funny faces and smiling

Thinking about college, but not sure whether it is for you? Have a read of the below about how College differs to school.

College is all about that next step in your life and your journey to becoming an adult. If you have had enough of school and are ready for something different then college is the place for you. It will be an exciting, new challenge where you will flourish and get yourself on that right path to your ideal job and career.

College is totally different to school – below we explore the reasons why:

  1. Less formal - There are lots of little things the makes college feel that little less formal than school. Something as simple as being on first name terms with your teachers. No more Miss or Sir which might feel a bit strange at first but you will soon get used to it and build up a really good relationship with your teachers. There is also no dress code or uniform for students to wear. It is not a school, so no Year 7’s running around causing havoc, just students your age and older. It is our belief that all of these little things
    help you feel more comfortable and therefore allow you to learn better and reach your full potential.
  2. Facilities College is a lot bigger than school which means bigger and better facilities. We have different campuses specialising in different subjects. Whether that be at our specialist construction workshops at Basford, our dedicated Art & Design studios at Stoney Street or our impressive Engineering workspaces at Highfields. Not to mention our brand new City Hub campus in the heart of Nottingham which will feature a 200 seat theatre, gourmet training restaurant, state of the art classrooms and amazing social areas. These facilities are designed to give you hands-on, practical experience in whatever course you may be studying to prepare you for a career in that industry.
  3. More independence – At college you are treated more like an Adult and given more freedom. No bells for lessons which means that you have more responsibility and take control of your own time management. And speaking of time, you will get a lot more of it to yourself. On average you will only be timetabled to 16 hours a week so you get more spare time than at school – we do encourage you to study and do work outside of your timetabled hours. You can also get a part time job maybe to earn a bit of money.
  4. 1 course, 1 subject (unless you’re doing A Levels) – forget all those subjects you didn’t like or enjoy at school. Forget all those teachers who didn’t inspire you or motivate you. This is the first time you can just focus on that one subject and course area that interests you, that motivates you, that excites you - whether that is Games Design or Sport or Hair & Beauty or any of the other many of options available. You come to college because you enjoy it and want to progress in your chosen course/career – no one is forcing you to be here like school!
    *AS LONG AS YOU PASS YOUR GCSE MATHS & ENGLISH AT SCHOOL*
  5. Meeting new people – You will be with like-minded people who all share the same interests and passion as you have all chosen that same subject/course, so straight away you have something in common with them. It is important to remember that everyone is in the same boat and have all come from different schools across the city, the county and even further away. It is likely you will know people from you school already who are at college and you will make new friends straight away.
  6. Stepping out of your comfort zone – it is quite easy to just follow the crowd and do what your mates do. It’s quite easy to just stay on at sixth form because you know everyone and everything and where you are going. But it is good to step out your comfort zone. It’s good to be bold, to be brave and ultimately to do what is best for you – this will benefit you later on in life. The thought of college can be daunting, it is a lot bigger than school and it will be new to you. But it is like anything new in life, you will get used to it. You will soon learn to love college life, the atmosphere, the freedom, the teachers and everything that comes with it.
  7. Extra-curricular opportunities – There is an extensive enrichment program at college giving you the opportunity to try something new. Whether that be a new sport like futsal or Ice Skating or even Tai Chi. There are also many sport academies (such as Football, Cricket and Darts) that you can get involved in and you can even go on to represent the college in national competitions. But it is not just sport you can get involved in, there are many other activities and clubs to get involved with such as the computer games club or the Green Society. You can even become a student rep if you want a bit more responsibility and want to enhance your CV.

So yes, in short there are many differences between college & school. But change is good as it helps you grow and develop as a person. And college is that exciting change and next step in your life that will set you on that road to success in a career that you are passionate about.

*If you don’t pass your GCSE Maths & English at school, it’s not ideal but it is not the end of the world. It just means you have to keep studying the subjects with us at college and re-take the exams until you pass. This should act as extra motivation to work as hard as you can at school and make sure you pass them so you don’t ever have to worry about them again because no one wants an extra half a day timetabled lessons of Maths & English.