Every beginning is hard and challenging. Starting your college studies can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. This is especially the case for students who are going away from home and starting to live on their own – on or off-campus. This is why the first year in college is often the hardest one to cope with, and many students experience some level of stress during this time.
Our article breaks down the most important tips for coping with the first year in college. Here’s what to do to stay happy, self-assured, and to find your balance.
● Family Support
Just because you’re going away for college, doesn’t mean you won’t need the support and help from your loved ones. There’s nothing wrong with asking them to have your back while you’re just getting started.
So, make sure to keep in touch with your family however you can:
- have regular video calls
- write them texts about your day
- call them when you need the extra love
Your family will be of huge help while you’re still adapting.
● Socialize From Day One
Loneliness can be the trigger of depression and stress during college, so try to start socializing from day one. Meet as many people as you can to start creating valuable bonds.
You can meet people in places such as:
- orientation day
- student organizations
- student clubs
- dorm parties
Start mingling and don’t hesitate to make the first move – everyone’s looking for a friend.
● Focus on Your Studying
As overwhelming and stressful as starting college can be, you still need to make sure your academic goals are a priority. This is why you should focus on your studies from day one.
What does it imply?
- attend classes regularly
- create a study calendar or schedule to follow
- explore tools and resources that can help you achieve your academic goals
You can visit the student library, find online materials, join a study group, or explore essay sites that can help you with your writing. Just make sure you’re doing everything you can to be a great student. This will take a lot of pressure off your back.
● Find Your Stress Relief
Not everything you do in college needs to be stressful and hard. You deserve a break just like the rest of us, so make sure to find your stress relief.
Taking a short break from your hectic day will mean the world for your mental health and help you continue working hard.
Most students choose to:
- do exercise
- practice yoga
- read books or listen to music
- spend time outdoors
- take up a hobby
Find something you love doing and do it every time you get the chance.
● Talk to a Professional
If at any point during your first year in college you start feeling like you can’t cope with it on your own, and your mental health is negatively impacted, find someone you can talk to. Your college most likely has a counselor ready to help you process how you’re feeling and help you get back on your feet. Just don’t sweep any problems under the rug.
Yes, the first year of college is like a roller-coaster ride, but you can take control over it and make sure you start enjoying every new turn you make. College years turn out to be the most exciting and memorable ones for many people, so it’s your duty to make them balanced and eventful. Use the tips we’ve listed above to cope with your first year in college easily and enjoy every second of it.
Melony Hart is a blogger and a student counselor. She specializes in student mental health and writes to help them cope with minor and major challenges of college life. She shares tips and advice that help students solve problems and enjoy college life.