School is 12 years of wearing a uniform, changing class when the bell rings and punishment if you don’t do your homework. Then it’s freedom time! But don’t think varsity is a free ride to Party Central…

SCHOOL: You get told what classes to go to and if you bunk them, you get punished.

VARSITY: You have a timetable and you can choose your own subjects and time slots. If you’d rather shoot the breeze than attend lectures, that’s up to you but you’ll have trouble catching up.

SCHOOL: You get given all the notes and the work is regularly revised.

VARSITY: The volume of work is massive. You must make notes and do revision on your own and spend hours researching and ensuring you have the correct sources.

SCHOOL: You get daily homework that is checked the next day.

VARSITY: You get assignments and essays that you need to hand in on deadline. “Homework” involves reading what will be focused on in the next class. If you don’t, you won’t get punished but you won’t know what’s going on and have a grumpy lecturer, they could ask you to leave!

SCHOOL: You’re pretty much spoon-fed, with teachers making sure you know what’s going on and do everything that’s required of you. In Matric, you even write mock exams to prepare you for the real finals.

VARSITY: You’re on your own. No lecturer is going to hold your hand – YOU have to ensure you have everything you need, hand in assignments on time and study for exams.

SCHOOL: Failing a subject is not the end of the world.

VARSITY: If you fail a subject, you have a chance to do it over – but it will set you back a semester. You also won’t be allowed to continue with some subjects until you have passed the previous semester’s exam. You have to pass all your subjects to get your degree, however long it takes – but with some subjects you only get one or two chances to pass, so better make sure you study!