OWL Talks

Common Fears of First-Year Students

Posted by Kelly Hart on Jul 15, 2019 9:52:00 AM
Kelly Hart

Though you may outwardly deny it, you may be anxious and stressed about leaving home to attend college. Here are some common fears, as summarized by education.com that you and your parents can talk about before you leave for college:

WILL I SUCCEED IN COLLEGE?

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You may worry and feel anxious because you have heard that college is really different—and much harder—than high school. This is your opportunity to blueprint your academic success in three easy steps: 1.) get organized, 2.) develop good time management skills, and 3.) get to know your professors. There are so many resources on campus to ensure success. Be sure to take a look at the Westfield State Experience and the First-Year to see some of the available resources that contribute to success.

WHAT IF MY ROOMMATE AND I DON’T GET ALONG?

You'll arrive with stacks of boxes, and suitcases—and immediately start living with one or more strangers. Suddenly space is a rare commodity. You may become best friends with your roommate. More likely, you'll find ways to compromise and respect each other’s space and needs, understanding that nothing is forever. Resident assistants (RAs) are trained to help smooth roommate differences and assist with other concerns, and room changes can be coordinated with housing staff when necessary. Single rooms are also available on campus!

WHERE WILL I FIND NEW FRIENDS?

You'll arrive amid a bunch of other students the same age and equally nervous. Even as an outgoing student who had a plethora of friends in high school, you can feel intimidated. Participate in athletics, clubs or activities as a way to meet friends and find your way around campus. During Welcome Week, you can explore all of the options available!

WILL I BE LONELY WITHOUT MY FRIENDS AND THE COMFORTS OF HOME?

You will have moments when you wish you were back in your own home where you didn’t have to wear sandals to the shower, and could sit down with your family for a real home-cooked meal. It’s okay and normal to have bad days and miss your family and to want to be home. The feeling usually passes, but if homesickness persists, the Counseling Center is available at no cost to provide support.

ARE PARTIES THE ONLY SOCIAL SCENE?

We all know that parties happen. However, know that you don’t have to participate in the party scene to find friends— there are clubs, organizations, sports and many other ways to find friends who prefer other ways to have fun.

WHO DO I CALL FOR EMERGENCIES OR SAFETY CONCERNS?

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Safety is a priority on our campus, and there are over 400 security cameras in and around the residence halls. We encourage you to sign up for our emergency response system. We also offer a shuttle service if you feel insecure, and there are emergency call boxes throughout the well-lit campus. The University’s Department of Public Safety is open 24 hours a day.

Ways you can stay safe:

• Keep personal property locked safely in your residence hall room.

• Always lock your room when leaving.

• Know the safety protocols for campus.

• Sign up for the Emergency Notification System.

• Always carry your University ID and room key(s).

Family members can also sign up to receive emergency notifications from campus by texting WSUALERT to 67283. This service is used for emergency situations only.

The first year of college is an exciting time – new friends, opportunities, responsibilities and expectations! The more informed you are, the better prepared you will be to take advantage of all the University has to offer. Check out our First Year student website to help you acclimate and settle in and make the most of your college year.

Topics: Things to Know When Moving In to College, Welcome to Westfield, Incoming College Students

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