Before I went to college, I thought I was ready for the change. I didn’t have a good time in high school, so I could hardly wait to take a new turn, meet people and adapt to a more accepting environment. As it turned out, it was not that easy to get into an entirely new life chapter.
There was one thing that helped me: I made friends with a couple of older girls who have gone through the same struggles before. Without their guidance and hints, the entire process of adaptation would’ve been much more difficult.
My experience might help many freshmen go through the first year at college as painlessly as possible. Here is what I learned from the initial chapters of my life as a college student:
1. There are plenty of potential friends out there!
When I started making friends at college, I was focused on my interests. Of course, I did meet random people in class, but the ones I had similar interests with became my real friends. I met the first group of friends at an alternative music festival, and we continued hanging out for a long time during and after college. The best decision I made was cutting back on computer games and other solitary activities.
Here is my advice to you: getting outside the comfort zone is always beneficial, but don’t forget that you should really “click” with your new friends. If you like books, for example, you can meet people in the library. If you are an adventurous, take a rock climbing class and you’ll meet camping buddies.
2. Feeling homesick is part of your life as a freshman. Get over it soon!
Even though I was ready to face the new challenges, first semester blues were still inevitable. Luckily, I quickly snapped out of that state. If you find yourself overwhelmed, nostalgic and homesick, you shouldn’t blame yourself. However, you shouldn’t allow those emotions to get you carried away.
3. Time management is important!
This is the most valuable lesson I learned during college: the anxiety results from an improperly structured schedule. Yes, you’ll have tons of studying to do, more than few papers, and boring extracurricular activities. You might think that there is no time for a healthy social life when you have so much to do. There always is!
4. Get used to the typical activities!
Getting up early has to be one of the hardest parts of being a freshman. Professors may look like they tolerate entering the class a bit late, but take my advice on this: they don’t! If you have your schedule ready the night before, it will be easier for you to bounce back and forth to class, library, dorm, etc.
Remember: when you are in the middle of a huge campus, the opportunities are endless! You will see new people in the dorms, dining hall, and classes all the time. It might be difficult to make contact at first, but you’ll soon get used to the relaxed environment!