5 Common Concerns of Incoming Freshmen
Learning how to drive a car and moving from middle school to high school might seem like huge changes at the time, but nothing compares to a student’s transition into college. Along with college comes the hundreds of concerns of college students, as they are almost programmed to think a certain way about freshman year based on other’s past experiences.
So, what does help?
It certainly doesn’t help that parents are stressed, especially when sending off their first child. Though, these uneasy feelings are very normal, many of them can be avoided with an effort to stay positive and to embrace the new lifestyle. Luckily, our best experts are here to list some of the most common anxieties of an incoming college freshman and how they can be handled.
Being away from home and family
Of course leaving the place that you have spent the last 18 years of your life is a scary thought. Even scarier, leaving your parents who have made you every meal, and likely, given you every tool for success. Now every choice is up to you, from the food you eat to the places you go.
You are bound to move away from home at some point in your life, and college is just giving you a head start. The skill of doing everything for yourself is a valuable skill to obtain before you step into the “real world”. It is important to remember that all of the people around you are experiencing the same new independence that you are.
Instead of sitting in your dorm homesick, find other students to share stories about your hometown with.
Expert Advice: You are going to be home before you know it. Between parent weekends, random visits home, holiday breaks, and visiting friend’s schools… school flies by. Start getting ready for some turkey and mashed potatoes now! Thanksgiving is closer than you think.
Packing the wrong items
Before going to school, it is hard to be certain of what the weather and people will be like.You might misstep by packing the wrong wardrobe, or if you are a student like me, might show up in sweatpants, looking like you came straight from bed. School supplies and items like printers and organizational items are no exception.
Lucky for you, we created an article with what we deem to be college essentials. Every person is going to need different items to fulfill their needs and wants, but generally having an idea of how much to bring is very helpful. Check out our essentials list and see what works for you!
Expert Advice: The beauty of Amazon today is that you can literally order anything online. With websites like Amazon Prime by your side, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pack something or bringing the wrong item. It is very easy to have things shipped to you within days, whether it is an outfit for a themed party or a pack of pencils.
Being a Small Fish In a Big Sea
After leaving a place where you have most likely found a community that you enjoy being a part of, it is intimidating to think that you won’t find a new community to be a part of. Again, a lot of people feel this way and it is a totally normal feeling!
Many schools offer club fairs in the beginning of the year. It is highly recommended that you pass through it, even on the way to class, because each university will offer so much more than you might be able to imagine. There are random clubs like the “frisbee club” or the “squirrel watching club”, and if there isn’t something that fulfills your interest, you always have the opportunity to create your own club.
There are many different communities within a school that you can join. There are both Greek life and academic sororities and fraternities. You can also join religious groups, community service groups, athletic groups, and more. With a large amount of communities comes more connections that can be made and more people who can potentially become your lifelong friends.
Expert Advice: The best part is that because there are so many other students, not everyone has to know your business. You aren’t forced to be friends with people because they are the only option. All in all, go swimming and you definitely will find the perfect school of fish for you.
Losing Touch With Your Home Friends
After being with the same people through all your years of growing up, it is unnatural to go a day without them. Once you become adjusted at school, start classes, and get involved in extracurricular activities, it becomes hard to find time to have a social life in college AND out of college.
One of the greatest aspects of 2019 is that technology has allowed for us to stay in touch so incredibly easily. As a college student, you are responsible for your own schedule and what you do with your free time! If it is important for you to stay in touch with your high school friends, make them a priority to add them to the calendar. Though it sounds funny to “plan” when to call your friends, it is easy to lose track of free time.
Face Time is literally a student’s best friend in college. Whether you have 10 minutes in between classes or an hour before you are going out, it is easy to Face Time or call a friend to give them a quick life update. It is hard to share every detail over the phone in short time periods, but as long as you are making an effort, your friendship will stay strong.
Expert Advice: Remember that friendship is a two way street and long distance friendships can be complicated. If a friend seems to have moved on, tell him or her how you are feeling about it before deciding to cancel them from your life. A lot of the time someone doesn’t realize that they have been so distant since their life is busy. A true friend will fix her actions and make sure she is putting time aside to check in with you.
Adjustment Regarding School Work
Yes, we have to talk about the actual school work, too.
In High School, you have a block of time that you are at school everyday, and it is at the same time everyday. College, is a whole different ballpark. Your classes don’t necessarily go back to back and you start at a different time most days.
Although managing your own time seems challenging, if you ask any college student, it is worth it to know how to handle your time. It is probably the biggest struggle but most important skill to learn.
Over time, you get the hang of how long it takes you to write a 5 page paper, how long you need to study in advance, and how much time you need to relax in between doing multiple assignments. Having a planner is very helpful in these cases.
At school, a professor may give you an assignment that is two months away and will never bring it up again until the due date. With these tasks, it is easy to procrastinate simply because you forget you had to do it. With a calendar, you will be able to see when it is coming up. To manage time, you can also set “reminders” on your phone. Though writing everything down seems useless in the moment, you will end up being very happy that you did it.
At the end of the day, remember that college is new to so many people around you. For the people that it is not new for, they will be able to guide you. College is an exciting chapter that only happens once in your life. Take advantage of it and don’t let your concerns control your freshman year, or any year following it.
If you have any worries that you want to learn how to handle, contact us! We are here to help! For more articles, browse our website for more expert advice, as given by students!
About the Author:
Author Jamie Konigsberg is a rising sophomore at The University of Maryland studying Public Relations. She is from Old Westbury, New York. In her free time, she likes to listen to music, travel, and take photos.