Failing classes. Wild roommates. Freshmen fifteen. These are just some of the fears that every first-year college student has to face. Trust us, we’ve been there. Read on for our tips for college freshmen and how to handle everything from a few bad grades to feeling homesick.
- “I’m not smart enough for college.” At some point in time, every student will start to have doubts. Maybe it’s from a particularly hard class or a lot of hard classes, but the important thing to do is figure out why you’re having doubts in the first place. If you’re struggling in a class, try connecting with a peer tutor for some extra help or even your academic counselor to see if you’re on the right degree path. Remember, one bad grade doesn’t mean you don’t belong.
- “My roommate is the actual worst.” Move-in day has come and gone and now there’s nothing but dirty clothes everywhere and even dirtier looks between you the two of you. What now? First, put down the iPhone and talk it out. Nothing will get solved over a text. But if you can’t seem to come to a truce, get your RA involved. RA’s are there to make your residential life easy and problem-free, so turning to them during a roommate standoff is always a good idea. If a compromise can’t be reached, don’t be afraid to ask to move. Your freshmen year is hard enough without an uncomfortable living situation making it worse.
- “I have ZERO friends.” We get it. You have to leave behind high school and your comfort zone to suddenly step onto campus where there are thousands of strangers and no one who knows you. If you’re feeling lonely, try joining a group or club on campus. There’s literally something for everyone; art students, amateur comedians, even Harry Potter enthusiasts. This is the time to find out who you really are and meet people who can bring out the best in you. There’s a ton of ways to get out there and get involved on campus. And remember, everyone else is going through the same thing, your peers are all new to this too!
- “What’s a healthy meal?” It’s easy to put on a little weight during your first year on campus. There are plenty of cheap snacks and yummy food easily within reach. Even when there are healthy, locally sourced options, it's easy to overeat or make the wrong choices. Try keeping fresh fruit, granola bars and juice in your room instead of greasy chips and sugary drinks. Schedule time to hit up the wellness center a few times a week or join a sports team on campus to help you stay active.
- “I miss my family.” Homesickness is common for most freshmen. You’re out of your comfort zone and away from loved ones. It can be hard to adjust and maybe, you don't even want to. The important thing isn’t to ignore how you feel, but figure out how to move past it. Time away from home is an important of part growing up and it can help you become a better and stronger person. Try making time for a weekly call, ask for a care package or schedule a weekend visit. Don’t forget to spend time enjoying campus life, meeting new friends and trying new things, either. Homesickness comes and goes, but the experiences you have at college will stay with you forever.
Hungry for more advice, tips and tricks on how to make the most of your time in college, check out our free College Survival Guide.