Thumbs up for finishing your high school education! The shift from secondary school to college is without a doubt a major change. Therefore, having information that eases the transition is important.
Before looking at tips that help you adjust to college life, let us first have a look at what you should expect at an institution of higher learning:
What College Life Entails
For new students joining campus, they find themselves acquiring freedom. The students find out they can make their own personal decisions and choices unlike in high school. For some of the students, they find this newly found freedom unfamiliar. The new students who live on campus communicate with family by use of computer or phone.
The newly found freedom comes with responsibility. New students must take full responsibility for their schedules. They must decide when to study, socialize, exercise, sleep and eat. The students must also budget for their money. In all these the students must learn to create a balance. Balancing enables them to give time to all the mentioned activities and have time for themselves.
The freshmen have to take care of their health needs, shop for their personal items, schedule lessons and ask for assistance from the institute staff or professors. For the first time in their lives, many students are faced with responsibility.
Higher Demand for Better Management of Time
New students may find they have less time compared to their activities. They find that their days’ routine is more or less predictable. Not to forget that college education requires more time to study than high school education. Some of the students lack their own personal time due to their many obligations. For students who find their academic work manageable they may still find it difficult to relax. Learning principles of time management is necessary while in college.
Different Environment and Relations
On joining college students find themselves in a new setting with new people. They find new people different from their friends and family at home. Even shocking is the revelation that your roommate is an unfamiliar person.
New students living in college must learn conflict resolution skills. This helps them resolve conflicts arising between them, their roommates and peers. Freshmen find that they have a duty to take responsibility from adults’ expectations.
Such a case is where a professor may not question a student absent in class but will give grades according to attendance. The students also learn to resolve issues with college staff, professors, and authorities directly. Remember in high school your parents or guardians would intervene and resolve your concerns.
12 Tips for Adjusting to College Life
1. Be Open to New Relationships
As already aforementioned, college life presents opportunities for new relationships. You must be open to forging new relations with teachers, loves, friends and roommates. One of the things you can do to ensure this happens is by learning impeccable flexibility and communication skills. In addition to this, you need to compromise. Not every situation will go your way.
By doing all this, you will manage to not only interact but also live amongst your new clique of friends who come from different cultures and backgrounds. Right now, before you join college, you can begin by expanding your network of friends. Get to associate with as many people as possible. Embrace different perspectives. Be accommodative to the opinions of everyone.
2. Be Energetic
Classes in college demand more from students. This is unlike in high school. You need to put in more hours and effort both in and outside class. Unless you have high energy levels, these demands can take a toll on you. For you to be energetic, you must maintain a healthy lifestyle. It pays off in countless ways for sure.
Take care of your nutrition. You need to consume foods that give you energy. In addition to this, get ample rest, create time for exercises, and socialize. Doing all these goes miles in energizing you for the workload that is associated with college life.
The good thing is that most colleges have wellness centers. Take some time off your busy schedule and visit the center. Play some volleyball or do yoga. Ultimately, it pays off.
3. Do Not Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Teaching assistants and college professors are always available to help you. Ascertain their working hours. Every time you need assistance, feel free to step into their office and relay your needs. Fortunately, colleges have free tutoring services. It is your prerogative to seek help whenever you are in need.
You can seek support via the student’s dean, mentoring programs, writing labs, academic advisors and scholarship offices.
A huge percentage of colleges in the country have party nights. As you party, do not overdo it in such a way that you make irrational decisions. The last thing you want is to quit school even before your lessons begin. You do not want to be part of the ugly statistics. Partying will always be there, but you need to be responsible while at it.
Avoid prioritizing partying at the expense of your studies. This is especially true if you have project deadlines to meet.
5. Take Great Care of Yourself
College life can be overwhelming. There is plenty of things that you need to finish within a limited time. The countless things that need to be completed can put you under so much pressure. If not careful, you can lack enough time for yourself. Exhaustion and always being stressed can result in illnesses.
Always take care of yourself. Get ample sleep. Do not push yourself to the limit. Have lots of ‘me time.’ Find adequate time to unwind and relax.
Another aspect of taking care of yourself touches on your security. Avoid being in a bad company like a plague. Always remember that delinquency or breaking the law can take place anywhere within the campus. Avoid being in the company of the wrong place and in the wrong places.
In addition to that, it is wise to have the phone number of your college’s police or security department with you round the clock. Establish whether your campus has a Safe Ride program or escort service for students to carry you late at night. Such programs are handy especially when you go out or run late from a meeting.
During emergencies, always use the call boxes available in the college. If you have a car, do not forget to lock it when in class. Avoid leaving GPS systems, laptops, cell phones and wallets in plain sight.
Do you own a laptop, tablet or phone? Always keep a record of their serial numbers. Every item that has a serial number you need to have a record of the same. If you own a bike, register it at the college’s registry.
As we indicated earlier, you must be mindful of your sleeping and eating habits. Always remember that sleep and nutrition are very important if you are to succeed in college. Take breaks between your study and class time. During the breaks, you can go for a run, walk or do anything that you are passionate about.
When you are unwell, do not hesitate to visit the college’s medical department. Share your issues with the relevant parties immediately you do not feel well to avoid escalating a simple issue to a complex one.
6. Be Open to New Experiences
On finding yourself in a new environment with new people, the secret is to become open-minded. Being open-minded means that you expect change to occur regularly. It means being open to new people and socializing with them. As a fact take it that education in college involves learning and exploring unfamiliar areas in life. The new areas include meeting people from diverse backgrounds and getting their points of view.
Fortunately, most colleges offer orientation programs for new students. Be sure to check if and when your college offers one.
7. Your Roommate
Most students are usually disappointed when they find out their roommate is an unfamiliar person. For some students who are lucky, they may have a friend whom they plan to reside with. However, for most colleges such arrangements are impossible.
You should not be worried when placed with a new roommate. This is because even people you know have an unknown dark side. This dark side of people you think you know becomes obvious when you live with them.
When it comes to roommates, a common issue that crops up often has to do with organizing and decorating the dorm room. Consult him or her regarding separating necessities such as micr0-fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers. You do not want to have similar items that will take up the little space in your room.
Consult your roommate when it comes to color schemes. Do not choose it alone. On your side of the room, you can put your personal decorations. If you are crafty, you can assist your mate to create his or hers. Together, you can come up with strategies that create more personal and storage space.
The rule of thumb is to always consult your roomy before making any decision that touches on your room. This will go miles in making sure that you avoid any unnecessary friction between you two.
8. Connect with Your Peers
Being in a new environment with new people is overwhelming. However, you are not alone. To overcome loneliness, try and socialize with other students. These students could be course mates or other students in college. Making friends should not worry you. Take time to find students with the same personality and interests as yours.
As for your roommate, get to them better. This because you will be together under the same roof for the whole year.
9. Join A Group
To feel more comfortable on campus, get to join a group. In most colleges, you will find student clubs and societies. These groups engage in different activities including sports. Find an activity you enjoy doing and join a club offering it. This will be handy in assisting you unwind and intermingle with fellow students.
Ensure you check with the students’ center in your college for a list of such.
10. Manage Your Time
In college, it is very easy to get carried away by non-academic activities. Most often than not students may forget that they need to study. To avoid getting carried away manage tour time properly. Find out the deadlines for upcoming exams and assignments. Mark the deadlines out in your calendar or set them in your reminder. Always find time to study way ahead of an exam. Remember college education is quite complicated and last-minute reading does not work.
Don’t forget to also make time for yourself. Include time for relaxation and self-care in your program.
11. Group Study Dynamics
You will find that carrying out group work in college is quite difficult. In college, you meet individuals unwilling to work as a team. Get to learn the importance of teamwork in a study group. Allow everyone in the study group to take responsibility for their assigned work.
12. Financial Freedom
For new students, financial freedom can be exciting or prove to be a challenge. Freshmen can easily get into financial trouble. This especially if they use credit cards. This is because credit cards allow you to purchase items without paying. The student may tend to forget about it until faced with the bill later. To avoid getting into financial trouble, use credit cards responsibly. It is also wise to keep off credit cards if you are not sure to manage it well.
Read More: How to Pay for College : 10 Reliable Methods