Five Things You'll Learn in College That You Didn't in High School

By Centennial College Modified on June 21, 2022
Tags : Academics | Careers | High School

Find out how college prepares you for the world in ways high school didn't.

 Five Things You’ll Learn in College That You Didn’t in High School

High school is an important time — where you grow up and you figure out who you are and what you want to be. But high school isn’t going to cover everything you need to know, and you might look back and wish you had learned a few more life skills, especially when it comes time to thinking about getting a job, or even better, launching a career.

But, don’t worry! That’s what college is for, with its focus on practical, real-life skills, and the things you might feel like you missed out on. Here are five things you didn’t learn while you were a high school student that college can provide you with.

1. How to figure out what career you want

Remember how I said high school is where you figure out who you want to be? Not everyone manages to figure out what career they want before their high school graduation. Did you feel forced into picking a life path in your high school Careers class? The fact is, it’s okay not to know. Everyone figures their future out at a different rate, and it’s better to clearly know what you want out of life, then rush in when you’re not ready.

At Centennial College, Centennial Advising and Pathways Services (CAPS) offers tools for future students to help find their way, both over the phone and through virtual assessments. And if you just want information, our website has a personality test that can help match you to a career, and a Career Explorer tool that’ll help you get more information about that career, and match you with the program or courses that’ll get you there.

2. Real job skills

Unless you plan on becoming a mathematician (and hey, if you are, they do good work, too) you probably feel like you’re not going to use a Pythagorean Theorem, unless it has something to do with splitting the bill at a restaurant (probably not). What you need are small, practical skills - how to fix a car, or cook a good meal, or nurse a patient; specific skills you can use when you’re on the job, literal skills to pay the bills.

That’s why you go to a college. Whatever the job, college courses teach “how to do.” Instead of reading about it, you’ll learn how to do the thing you want to do. And depending on the program you pick, you’ll get to roll up your sleeves and actually practice it, whether it’s in a lab, or on a co-op or field placement.

Looking for practical experience? There is a massive selection of useful programs at Centennial College. Be it auto work, police foundations, culinary, media and arts, the list goes on. Look for college programs with Co-op components, or apprenticeship opportunities if you want some out-of-school experience to go along with it.

3. How to get a job

Let’s say you know what you want to do, and you have the skills and knowledge. Now, you just need to know how to get into your career. Where can you find work once you get that college degree? How do you write a resumé? Where do you apply? What does a good cover letter look like? What do you do during an interview?

For starters, there are plenty of career fairs on any campus, and a good college website has a generous helping of job resource links. But even with those resources, you probably want more than that. Specifically, the “what do I do now?” That’s why a good college, like Centennial, has a Career Services and Co-Operative Education Department, where they can teach you how to write a resumé and cover letter, build a portfolio, and even simulate an interview situation, in addition to connecting you to job postings.

4. How the financials of school work

I’ll throw some words at you: Tuition. OSAP. Financial Aid. Loans. A pile of forms asking for a pile of information. If it makes your head spin a little bit, that’s normal. We can help you take care of it. If you don’t know the first thing about loans, or how to pay for your education, just find the financial aid department, where having no idea is just fine. You can come to them to point you the right way and answer the questions you might have.

At Centennial College, we can also help you take care of your financial headaches. If you don’t know the first thing about loans, or how to pay for your education, check out our Financial Aid page for resources, and contact information on how to get the answers you need, as well as apply to scholarships and bursaries, to help cover your schooling.

5. What to do when you don’t feel ready for college

Now, don’t get the wrong idea about high school: you still learn important things in your high school courses, and it’s worth finishing. But if you feel like you aren’t prepared, or worse, find yourself without the right credits, college offers special, short programs to prepare you, and help you earn the requirements you need.

At Centennial College, that happens through the School of Advancement, where small classes and one-on-one learning lets you build your learning and study skills, before taking the plunge into a college education.

Does this all sound good? At Centennial College, we’ve got all that. If a school doesn’t give you what you need, it doesn’t mean you can’t get it somewhere else. Centennial College does its best to provide students with everything they need to get their lives moving. Have a look at what we have to offer, and maybe you’ll agree, too. 

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