Starting your first year of college soon? Are you’re feeling excited, anxious, and slightly nauseous? Relieve your college worries by learning how you can prepare for the common jitters that freshmen have. After you finish reading, you will be able to breathe a big sigh of relief!
Moving into the dorms is one of those experiences you dread, but once it’s over you’ll realize that it wasn’t so bad. In fact, that feeling of not knowing what to expect makes move-in day one of the biggest college worries that freshmen have.
Motivate yourself with positive thoughts so that you’ll walk into move-in day, and college for that matter, with nothing but optimism. Think to yourself I’m so ready for this, and repeat that thought the weeks leading up to move-in day, the night before, and the day of. Until then, you can read our blog post, Move-In Day and What to Expect.
For some reason, roommates seem to always be 50/50 – either you love them or you hate them. Before meeting your roommate in person, friend them on Facebook and start a conversation. This will give you a preview of what you’ll have to live with for the next year, plus, you won’t be hit with any surprises when you meet them in person (“Oh, you like magic tricks….”).
When you do actually meet your roommate, be sure to set some house rules (dorm rules?) so that your expectations are aligned and that you don’t run into any roommate problems.
Getting around campus
Most universities have a campus map on their website, so definitely use this tool to plan your walking route when classes start. After moving into your dorm, try to simulate walking around campus as if you’re actually going to class. Physically doing this, rather than studying a map, will help you remember which buildings and room numbers you’ll need to go to.
If you find yourself hopelessly lost on the first day of class, don’t hesitate to ask one of the many other students around you. Sure, you’ll end up exposing yourself as a freshman, but people like being helpful. The upperclassmen will be glad to give you directions.
Freshman year is the one year where it’s okay, expected even, to try to make friends with everyone you meet. The freshmen around you are going through the exact same experience you are; that camaraderie you share will make it easy to go up to your hallmates or the person you sit next to in class and say, “Hi, my name is ___.”
Propping open your dorm door is a great way to make friends too. You’ll be surprised how many people will pop their heads in to say hi!
It’s true, college classes are significantly harder than high school classes. The pressure to get good grades is another one of the biggest college worries for first year students.
If you’ve taken AP or IB classes in high school, then you’ve already had taste of the typical college workload. If not, don’t worry. There’s plenty of resources in college that will help you succeed in those hard classes. For example, many teachers hold office hours where you can go to them for help.
Also, some colleges offer free tutoring for students living in the dorms, and there’s also writing centers that are paid with your tuition. Take advantage of these resources as much as possible!
Choosing a major
Deciding your career path is one of those college worries that is more prevalent now than ever before. If you can’t exactly picture where you’ll be or what you’ll do 10 years from now, you’re not alone. Many freshmen come into college with undeclared majors.
If you’re in this boat, freshman year is a great opportunity for you to explore different subjects by taking classes that both spark your interest and fit into the graduation requirements. Go ahead and sign up for Japanese History, African Dance, The Physics of Sound, and Modern Cosmology! After a year of taking “fun classes” you’ll have a better sense of what you want to major in.
Some colleges have bigger “party school” reputations than others. At those party schools, there’s a lot of pressure to go out to frat and house parties. Freshmen typically go out to these parties with the friends they make in their dorms, which is perfectly okay. It’s beneficial to go to a party with friends to see if you truly enjoy it.
If you’re absolutely not a party type of person, that’s okay too. Many universities offer on-campus activities that are often free for students, such as movie nights. One piece of advice that holds true to pretty much everything in life is to do what you want, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!