First-year college students face many changes and adjustments. They have new decisions, new life circumstances, and new responsibilities. It is not unusual for first-year students to experience a variety of emotions including loneliness, doubt, and both highs and lows. If you are having such feelings, know you are not alone. Also you need to understand it takes time to adjust, and the year is only half over. Below are some tips for facing this year of change.
If you are having roommate problems try sharing responsibilities, show respect, and try discussing your concerns openly. You can also ask third parties to help you mediate and/or create a contract between each other.
If you’re a commuter student and feel a little left out, study at the college library, rent a locker on campus, ask if there is a commuter lounge on campus, start a ride share on the student union bulletin board for other commuters near you.
If you haven’t met a group of friends, attend campus events, especially as a way of sharing similar interests with others. And, be seen by participating in activities or on committees, by studying at the student union or in the library, by going to the rec center or gym, and by getting out: walk, take different routes to and from classes, and visit campus buildings you haven’t been in.
If you’re having academic problems, talk with your advisor, go through a library orientation, take a speed reading or note-taking course, attend workshops on time management.
Finally, make sure you know about all the resources available to students on campus. Every campus will have a counseling center, a student health care center, a career center, as well as deans in Student Services who are problem solvers for students. There are also on-campus ministries and religious organizations.
You may also want to read CollegeBasics’ College articles for more detailed information and tips.