Are you mentally prepared for being a college student? Advice from these former freshmen can help prepare you and let know who to go to for support in tough times.
Your freshman year of college has finally arrived! You're feeling that odd combination of excitement and complete terror. How do you make sure that the terror doesn't completely overtake you? The advice below can help you keep your sanity throughout the year.
Starting With the Right Mindset
''Be open to new experiences! Push your fears aside and step outside of your comfort zone to make your freshman year of college much more memorable. Seize opportunities to create new relationships, learn new lessons, and form new habits. College is a fresh start, so don't relive high school and go through life the same way. For some, trying new things may be as simple as actually maintaining a study schedule for the first time ever. You prevent yourself from growing by going through life with the same mindset. Whether it's trying a new food that doesn't seem appealing or hanging out with a new person who has a totally different personality than you, your first year of college is the time to do it!''
-Nathan Timmerman, Senior & Admissions/Social Media Intern, Manchester University
Dealing With Anxiety
''To college freshmen who suffer from anxiety disorders, my advice is to leave your dorm room! I know how scary that sounds and feels, but it will make everything so much better… Isolation is NEVER a good idea for those of us with anxiety, as hard as that is to accept. Above all, go to class! Nothing makes you create a blanket fort under your bed and watch Finding Nemo more than seeing a test on the syllabus and knowing you missed too many classes to pass it. Remember - this is just one period of your life. You'll get through it, you'll make forever friends, and you'll go on to have a great life.''
-Cat Jones, Program Director, Equality House
Finding Help When You Need It
Getting Peer Advice
''Seek out peer advice. At most schools, Facebook and other social media groups exist for students within the same major. Use these networks to find students who have taken the same classes, joined clubs that you may be interested in, and ask them for some advice. What do they recommend getting involved with? Which classes did they enjoy? What did they wish they had done differently? This way, you'll get relevant advice and get the opportunity to make a new friend! It took me three years to learn about some of the coolest classes and organizations available at USC, and by then, I had limited time and space in my schedule to get involved.''
-Shireen Jaffer, Edvo
Making Use of Support Services
''Get to know your resources and leverage them!! The strongest students are the one who know and use their resources. Colleges and universities provide students with a host of resources that are often underutilized. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Use the tutoring lab, the writing lab, go to faculty office hours, visit career services, start your resume and LinkedIn page, actively seek mentors, participate in hall meetings and university events with speakers, and don't be afraid to go to counseling services for support. These resources are there to support your transition and success. They are also most likely included in your tuition and fees so you can access them at no extra cost.''
-Esther G. Freeman, Founder, Empowered Campus
Getting to Know Your Professors
''Go to meet with your professors. Your professors are there to teach you and help you. They have official office hours specifically set up for you to come and see them and ask for help. When you do go to meet with your professor, go armed with specific questions and examples of how you have tried to find the answer on your own. Do not go to your professor and simply say 'I don't understand.' Instead, say something like, 'I read this chapter and after class, I understand this, but I'm still struggling with this concept.' They will appreciate and respect the fact that you are taking ownership of your education.
Also, simply get to know your professors. Meet with your advisor, go to social gatherings outside of class, participate in clubs. Knowing your professors will make college a more enriching experience, and it will make it easier to ask them for a recommendation when you need one for grad school or internships.''
-Maureen Paschal, Raising The Capable Student
Still nervous about your freshman year? Take Study.com's College Success course to get more information on doing well during your first year.
*Submissions were edited for clarity and length