Heading to college for the first time means major changes are on the way. It’s a brand new type of classroom, you’re surrounded by a ton of unfamiliar faces, and you may even be living in a totally new place! With all major changes — both good and bad — there’s often fear associated with it. We know that starting college is the good type of change, so check out how we suggest calming your off-to-college jitters.
1. Start looking at the campus events calendar.
How about swapping your nerves for excitement? One easy way to do this is by checking out your school’s calendar of events. After all, the social life on campus is the epitome of a fun college experience. It’s also helpful knowing that a lot of these events are centered around new students, so if you’re worried about not having a friend to enjoy them with — don’t be! Everyone else is in the same boat, so friendly and welcoming faces will be everywhere. The first few weeks of school are usually jam-packed with campus events, so start looking for the ones that excite you the most.
2. Chat with other college students.
Sometimes it helps chatting with someone in the same situation as you. Or, at least someone who has been in those shoes before. Did you meet anyone at orientation you can talk with? Do you know any upperclassmen? Or, how about checking out your school’s freshman class Facebook group? Discussing your fears with those that understand will certainly give you some peace of mind, but you also don’t need to focus on just your worries. Talk through the things you’re excited about, too!
3. Tackle any fears around homesickness.
Homesickness is one of the most common freshman fears. It’s a major change being away from home for the first time! Start thinking of ways you can combat this feeling — such as planning a certain day of the week you can Skype home, or planning a time when your family can visit (or you can visit them). Another great tactic is making your new campus feel like home. We recommend looking up ways to get involved on campus. When you’re an active part of the college community, you’ll certainly feel like you belong there. Check out more of our tips on fighting homesickness here.
4. Get to know your roommate better.
It’s a whole lot less nerve-wracking showing up to campus when you know you’ve got a friend there. If you’ve already gotten your roommate assignment, why not start getting to know each other? Your roommate will make a great support system as you guys work through all of your college “firsts.” Plus, this is a great person to start exploring campus with on move-in day!
5. Familiarize yourself with campus resources.
For every struggle you might be anticipating, there are likely free services to help you out. There are plenty of helpful resources available right on campus, like academic support, career guidance, and even assistance with mental health. But even for the smaller stuff you might be sweating — such as making new friends, decorating your dorm, and keeping your money in order — you can bet there are websites, blogs (psst…us!), and threads online that can serve as a helpful resource. Heading to college for the first time might seem scary, but these resources prove that you’re always in good hands and are never alone!