Going to college can be an exciting and challenging time. Here are a few tips to set you up for success this semester.
1: Adjustment takes time
As we make the transition to college, we may hold a lot of expectations for ourselves and others. Sometimes, it may seem like we need to “have it all”: a vibrant social life with lots of new friends, good grades, great professors and a newfound sense of independence. However, it’s also important to know that it’s okay if things don’t seem to fall into place all at once.
The college experience will still happen for you, even if it’s not an instant fit. Coming to college is a big transition that requires some adjustment. Take things one day at a time. Instead of focusing on having the “ideal” college experience, focus on making it your own.
2: Your professors want you to succeed
Great professors can make all the difference in college. They may help you learn more about a subject, become a mentor or write you a letter of recommendation in the future. It may not always feel like it but it’s important to remember that they want you to succeed. It may be intimidating, but introducing yourself to your professors and visiting office hours (virtually or in person) when you feel stuck or aren’t sure about something in class can go a long way in helping you stay on track.
3: Self-care is important
Sometimes college can feel like a free-for-all. Without our family, we may not have someone to make sure we eat a balanced diet or go to bed at a reasonable hour. However, those things are still important. Part of navigating independence is learning how to take care of oneself and making positive choices for our physical and mental health. That’s why it’s important to focus on self-care, even if it feels boring or unnecessary. Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours each night), eating nutritious foods, practicing mindfulness, alleviating stress and taking care of our minds and bodies can make a big difference in how we feel, perform in school and adjust to college.
If you need help creating a plan that works for you, Peer Wellness Coaches are available to help. This free service can help students set and achieve their wellness goals. Peer Wellness Coaching can be a great option for students looking to optimize their personal health and wellness, create a plan for the semester or make meaningful changes in their lives.
4: Nobody knows what they’re doing (seriously)
It may be hard to believe, but most people have no idea what they’re doing in college or as adults. We’re all just trying to take it one step at a time. College is about exploration, and it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out. Your major may change, your friend group may evolve and your goals may shift. It’s all part of the experience. Take a deep breath, try things that feel new or different to you and see what works.
5: It’s okay to ask for help
Asking for help can be hard, especially if it seems like you’re the only one struggling. The truth is, everyone struggles in their own way and you’re not alone in how you feel. There are lots of resources on campus that can help you address issues you may be facing with academics, mental health and more. Here are just a few: