So you were accepted to college but find yourself feeling mixed emotions about the upcoming transition? Well, you aren't alone.
Leaving for college can be both exciting and anxiety producing. You find yourself dreaming of all the new adventures you will set out on and the people you will meet. In the same day, you can feel overwhelmed by the tasks that come along with enrollment and contemplating the new responsibilities associated with leaving home.
While this process can feel scary, there are things you can do to lessen the stress of this life transition. Here are some things to consider:
- Seek support from your friends who are most likely feeling the same way. Ask them where they are in this process and how they completed tasks required of them.
- If you aren't sure about something, ask questions. Friends, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and older siblings all can be great options.
- Your high school may offer college prep services. Be sure to keep an eye out for announcements on your school’s Web site or contact your school’s guidance department.
- Colleges have information posted on their Web sites as well.
- That last quarter of high school can be tough - there’s a reason they call it senioritis! Stick to the behaviors and routines that got you through school all these years.
- You will most likely go through many emotions during this time since it is a transition period for you, and that’s okay. There will be times of happiness like when you graduate and times of sadness when you are leaving your childhood friends. This is common and most of your friends are feeling the same way.
- You may also start to feel sad or worried about leaving your family. Talk about how you’re feeling with them and make plans to spend additional time together in the months before leaving. Even when on campus, remember they are only a phone call or text away!
- Prepare for your orientation. Make a list of questions you may have. Take a look at the program you’re entering and possible courses you are interested in taking. Be informed about your scheduling options. Based on what works best for you, adjust your schedule accordingly - this will help ensure your best chance at success! For example, if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, try to schedule your first class a little later and avoid those 8 am courses. It also may be good to look at the amount of down time you have between classes on the same day to make sure it’s enough time to complete required assignments/study while still making time for extra activities and time with friends.
- When you receive your roommate assignments, reach out to them before leaving for school. This can help alleviate some of the anxiety and help you get to know each other before living together. Roommates are great people to explore the campus with during your first weeks.
- Where will I meet new friends? Colleges understand these worries and have many opportunities in place to help you with this. During the first couple of weeks, there will be events to introduce you to all the student clubs and groups on campus. Be sure to attend, these are great opportunities to learn more about activities on campus and meet other students.
- Try something new, whether it’s a club or other activity. This is a perfect time to try all those things you’ve heard about but haven’t had the opportunity to do yet. It’s also a great way to meet new friends.
- Remember the campus has many resources in place to help with your transition.. Some of these include:
- A campus health center to provide support for any medical issues that may come up.
- A student services center can link you with resources and assist with educational matters such as tutoring and academic accommodations.
- Academic counselor: Utilize this service whenever you have questions about your program requirements or course schedule.
The transition to college is an exciting time filled with many decisions and options. This process is made easier when using supports such as friends and family. These are a just a few suggestions and resources to get you started on your journey. Congratulations on your acceptance and good luck!