04 February 2014

Tips to Help Freshmen Adjust to College Life


Going off to college for the first time brings about a variety of emotions among freshmen. The range of emotion often starts with excitement, since most if not all teenagers cannot wait until such time to get away from their parents. The independence and freedom it affords can be quite intoxicating. The other perks that freshman year brings about are the opportunity to meet new people and to stay up late from partying all night long. However, college life is not all about parties. And, a freshman who is unable to cope with the changes and work required may crumble from the pressure.
According to psychology experts, the adjustment period of most freshmen typically involves a five-stage process. Living on campus is fascinating for students during their first year away from home. At this point, the level of excitement is high. However, as time passes and classes get going, many start to experience severe bouts of homesickness. Quite often, this feeling of melancholy leads to the third stage of adjustment. At this point, a freshman may become critical and start finding fault with everything.   
adjusting to college classes
Adjusting to College: Stockvault
But in due time, a student will eventually find the humor as he or she goes through the process. In realizing the funny side of the situation, a freshman is able to embrace college life for all its positives and negatives. Consequently, everything falls into place. 
Professionals offer the following tips to help freshmen on how to deal with college life and eventually survive their first year away from home.
1.     Be sure to attend classes. Without any doubt, attendance in class is a must. Though college may offer a certain degree of freedom, it does not give a freshman the right to skip class without a justified reason.
2.     Get to class on time. If college should teach young adults anything, it would be punctuality. Keep in mind that professors do not take kindly to students who waste their time by coming into class after the lecture has started.
3.     Practice time management. The ability to manage one’s time in college can give a freshman the advantage necessary to stay on top of the semester. It would be a good idea to buy an agenda book to jot down schedules. Fortunately, in today’s technology savvy world, keeping schedules can easily be done with an app installed on a mobile device.
4.     Ask for help. Though it may be intimidating to approach other people particularly faculty personnel or staff at a university, they are there to help. Just remember to ask nicely.
5.     Forget the rat race. College life is not about competing with other students to get the higher grade. Comparing oneself to others can only lead to feelings of inferiority that can intensify stress.  Rather, it is best to focus on building one’s own abilities and strengths to help get through the first year with flying colors.
6.     Loneliness is expected. The sudden awareness of being alone for the first time often hits many freshmen after a few weeks into the semester. Feelings of isolation often become worse during exams when the pressure builds up. Remember to seek out help from friends and to check out resources available to students on campus like a guidance counselor. Be sure to check the college catalog to be familiar with the services available to students.
7.     Remember to eat healthy. Avoid the convenience of having fast food meals on a daily basis. Though these meals are handy for a busy freshman to eat on the go, it does not provide the necessary nutrients in the long run. Try to learn cooking a few simple recipes from home. Not only would this be healthy, but it is also a good way to reconnect with family.
8.     Be smart when socializing. A good way to safely meet others on campus is to join an organization. Membership also helps boost credentials after college.
9.     Stay positive. Even when the blues hit, it is important to maintain an optimistic attitude about matters. Wallowing in depression only makes things worse.
College life is meant to be fun and exciting but at the same time challenging and difficult. Rather than rebuff these emotions it is best to embrace these with an open mind. Be brave and enjoy the challenge it brings. 
 By: May Ann

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