Your life is falling apart as you're just cramming up the study materials for your next exam when you start to miss how much easier your life was back in the golden days of childhood. The American College Health Association reported 32 percent of students felt so despondent “that it was too difficult to function” for them in college, affecting them academically and socially. Many students struggle fighting the freshman blues and the social frustration that lack of friends may cause. But do not worry because this article is a guide on how to survive the transition from high school to your next stop — college.
1. When you "Connect" with your roommate.
Most colleges give students the option to choose their own roommate or do random assignments in order to increase the diversity and help students get outside of their social circle and interact with new people. If you decided to stay with your high school buds and requested a roommate who you already knew, then this really doesn’t apply to you. However, if you are with a random roommate, they can fall anywhere on the scale of, “they watch me when I sleep,” to “they can possibly be my best friend." No doubt, there might be ups and down with your roommate so the key is to communicate regularly and not to feel crestfallen if they do not bear the same interests as you. Instead, go out to various events and orientations to be friends with people sharing your interests or simply request a new roommate.
2. Avoid the Freshman Fifteen by gaining "Energy" and eating healthy.
The “Freshman Fifteen” is very real and the fatigue that freshman year of college means makes students stress-eat. “There are serious issues,” explains Carol Holland, PhD, an associate professor and psychologist in the counseling center at Slippery Rock State College in Pennsylvania. “Gaining 10 or 15 pounds isn’t always a big deal — it could be a sign that a young person does not have coping skills needed given the stress [he or she] is under…” A student can maintain a personal list of all the things he or she has eaten throughout the day and record the calories. However, freshmen may wither away from the habit of eating healthy at all times, so in between, they should always reward themselves by eating at a place that may be only somewhat healthy. Again, the habit of eating good requires persistence and efforts.
There are major differences between high school and college, and one of them is adapting to the class size and rigor of the courses. Most of the time, freshmen wonder how they’re ever going to get to know their professors enough to get an exceptional letter of recommendation from them later in the journey.
You might want professors to know you on a personal level, but patience and maneuvering right is the key. This means not leaving class early — if you do not have a next class for another hour or so — and going to office hours to ask questions you might already know the answer to. Never go to office hours without prior knowledge of the topic you’re perplexed about. For example, ask a question like, “Hey, so I know that the a-priori concepts exist to give a metaphysical basis for the doctrine of morals but I am not sure how duty comes into play here?” instead of “I don’t understand what is meant by moral duty.” It'll make you look more concerned and like a student who pays attention in the class. Often times, professors already know that most students attempt to maintain an affable relationship with them in return for a recommendation letter, so if you visit them during office hours regularly, they’ll comprehend your intentions and will mentally keep track of your performance academically.
4. College clubs will go "0 to 100" on you.
Drake might be famous for getting rejected multiple times, but college is somewhat similar when it comes to college clubs. The transition from high school to college in terms of clubs is devastating since college clubs are more selective and nitpicky with their new members. This transition is genuinely different from high school since most high school clubs have low requirements unlike the ones in college where getting in is basically the equivalent to setting the first foot in Mars and finding a cure for cancer. After the emotional rollercoaster with college applications, students should be ready for a massive turning-point with college clubs and their repudiation. With each rejection, students often perceive themselves as not competent enough which is the wrong approach. Instead, students should remain admirably purposeful and try out again next semester or year. Not everyone is triumphant at their first try.
Social frustration and rejections from clubs may get too overwhelming for a college freshman, but don’t let this consume you. College is the time to get to know who you really are by trying out new things. This may range from finding your impeccable spot to study from a favorite café on campus to a quiet place in your dorm — libraries are usually full anyway — to seeking out a secret hideout place where you can nap in between your classes. Spend time with yourself and explore what you have to offer to the world. Additionally, often times, students need to feel rested between tireless schedules of classes and doing laundry, and alone time allows them to maintain a true identity of themselves.
Whether you have your goals mapped out or don’t know where your destination is, don’t worry because the next four years is a learning process. College is about new opportunities, becoming independent and investing time in yourself. These five tips with help you deal with the basic core transitions that every college freshman faces in their life so “Thank Me Later."
Lead Image Credit: The Come Up Show via Wikimedia Commons