Biggest Freshmen Fears and How to Overcome Them
Entering college for the first time can be quite an experience. Whether you are coming from miles and miles away, have chosen a random roommate, or want to join a sport or club, new experiences abound. Here are some common freshmen fears and how to deal with them:
- Not getting along with your roommate – Whether you’ve chosen to live with a friend or a random roommate, it’s always nerve racking to anticipate sharing a space with someone. However, establishing an open line of communication can help clear up any concerns. Don’t be afraid that confronting your roommate will ruin your friendship. In fact, being honest as soon as possible will help you avoid a larger fight down the road.
- Making friends – Don’t be discouraged if you feel lonely when you get to school; this is a clean start for almost all freshmen. Because of this, you can be sure that others are looking for friends as well. Leave your dorm room door open when you’re there, ask a classmate to lunch, or go to club meetings that interest you. It may feel scary to put yourself out there, but others are just as intimidated and will be thankful you reached out.
- Workload – The transition from high school to college classes is always different, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t manageable. You are set up to succeed, not fail. All of your professors have office hours in which you can ask questions and voice your concerns. Don’t forget you also have an advisor whose job it is to make sure things run as smooth as possible. They can help you decide which classes are right for you and even give you advice on how to stay on top of things.
- Homesickness – Wherever you’re from, living in a new place can feel isolating. You may be longing for your old bed, wanting to see your parents and friends, or missing your old hangouts, but know that the more effort you make in your new living situation, the faster you will find new people and places to love. Distract yourself by keeping busy and making an effort, but be sure to schedule times to call home. Knowing when you’ll get to talk to your parents or friends again will allow you to focus on other things.
- Taking care of your health – Everyone’s heard of the freshmen 15 and probably wants to avoid it, but it can be tempting to forget health when you’re away from home with a full meal plan. Listen to your body; if you’re getting regular stomach aches, pay attention to what you’re choosing in the dining hall. If you’re feeling sluggish, take a trip to the gym or even a walk around campus with a friend.
- Being on your own – Most likely, college is the first time you will be without your family. Things like meals and laundry can feel like unknown territory, but know that you still have a support system at school. Ask friends and even your RA for advice. If you’re still unsure, remember that you’re coming into adulthood and you have the capability to figure things out for yourself; even if you’re slow at first, you will learn!
- Choosing the wrong major – When you jump into college academics, it can feel like everyone around you has a plan and you should have one too. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself! Take your time talking with your advisor and professors as well as considering your core classes before you choose a major. And if you think you made the wrong choice? Relax, reach out to your advisor. Plenty of students switch majors and your advisor can help make the transition much easier.
Starting college can be an intimidating experience, but the fears you have can be conquered. No one is ever fully prepared, but recognizing that you can work out your problems will help you greet this new chapter of your life with confidence.