It’s natural to feel anxious about entering college. Your apprehension is a sign that you are interested in doing well and getting ready for a challenge. As the saying goes, ‘the greater the challenge, the greater the glory.’ Therefore, any of your worries are likely to go away within the first few weeks and even if they don’t quite seem to favour in your way, fret not as most colleges have plenty of tools to help you with specific first-year problems. The first step in overcoming your fears is to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the college student life.
Just as you embark on your new adventure, there is no doubt that you will face some hurdles, hence we have listed some common issues that have emerged in the minds of college freshmen.
My roommate will be awful
This is, of course, a possibility, but there’s also a good chance that you’ll get along well with your college mates or roommates. To offer yourself the greatest chance to have a safe and productive friendship with your roommates, start a bond with them before you begin your first class. As soon as you move in, discuss the ground rules for things like food sharing, hosting guests, cleaning, and quiet hours. To make it clear and precise, you could jot down the rules in a roommate’s contract. No matter what happens, do your best to be respectful, and if it doesn’t work out, you could request to the dorm management for a change of roommates. At the very least, you’re going to learn something from the experience.
I’m not trying to find new mates
One crucial point to note is that practically everyone is a newcomer, so you could feel out of place and estranged initially. Take a deep breath and introduce yourself to others in your orientation, in your classes, and on your floor. Consider joining social clubs, intramural sports, or a student organisation where you’re likely to find others that share similar interests with you.
Oh, I’m not smart enough
Of course, college is going to be harder than high school, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to do well. Prepare for a challenging workload, and if you feel that you’re performing below your expectations, ask for help. Your academic adviser can direct you to the appropriate resources, such as a tutoring centre or a fellow student who can help you study.
I’m going to be homesick
This is a reality to many college freshmen, and it’s completely normal. And if you don’t go to classes, you’ll still wind up losing the time you spent with friends, relatives, and loved ones. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to maintain relationships with those you care about. Schedule the opportunity to contact your friends, check-in every couple of days with your best friend from high school, or update anyone you wish to keep in touch with about your college experience.
Money matters worry me
College is expensive, and this is a legitimate concern. You may have to borrow funds to offset your college expenses. But learning how to manage your money is a life skill that you need to know. If you haven’t begun thinking about budgeting your finances, college is the ideal opportunity to get going. Understanding the specifics of your financial assistance package and getting a good job on the campus are smart ways to begin to secure your personal finance.
I don’t know how to juggle all of my commitments
Time management is one of the toughest obstacles for college students to tackle. But the sooner you work on it, the better prepared you are to meet the demands of full-time work, family, and social obligations. Experiment with different ways to keep yourself organised, such as making to-do lists, using a calendar, setting targets, and assigning priority levels to your tasks. By learning some important time management skills, you can stay on top of your academics and learn how to manage a demanding schedule while still having fun.
I’ve never been on my own before
It’s hard to be on your own, especially for the first time. But something inside of you knows that you’re ready or that you wouldn’t want to attend college in the first place. Yeah, you’re going to make mistakes along the way, but you’re able to move on your own. So if you’re struggling, there are plenty of people and support mechanisms on a college campus to assist you.
I can’t do some basic tasks
Don’t know how to cook or wash? It’s a great way to learn. And with the wealth of online guides, you’re supposed to be able to find a lot of guidance for whatever you’re trying to do. Better yet, have someone teach you how to do laundry before you leave for school. If you’re already in school, learn by watching someone else or ask for help.
I could gain weight
While the wealth of food options and busy schedules may make it easier than ever to make unhealthy choices, the opposite is also true, you may have more opportunities than ever to remain active and eat well. Try to simplify your meals according to a nutrition plan most suited for your body and make it your goal to explore as many recreational activities as you can. If you’re attending social exercise courses, playing intramural activities, commuting to school, or enjoying daily trips to the community centre, you’ll have loads of opportunities to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your weight in check.
I don’t know what to do after college
This is a common fear faced by every student and graduates, but if you learn to overcome confusion, you can learn a lot about yourself. Take a variety of classes in the first year or two, and speak to teachers and seniors about topics you want to be majoring in. Although it’s necessary to schedule your course load and set targets for obtaining your degree, don’t let the pressure to figure out what’s going on compete with these precious years of exploration.
College is perhaps the best time of every student’s life. If you’re an educator, reassure your students that their thoughts are common and motivate them to take steps to resolve such issues proactively.