You Have Been Accepted!
Adjusting to College Life
The moment you have been waiting for has finally arrived! You have survived through intense study sessions and difficult entrance exams. You have been accepted!
Despite the excitement of venturing into a new world of academia, you might start to get a little stressed about what the next couple of years will hold for you. You may even feel a little lost in the process at times. However, know that all of it is perfectly normal!
For many students, the transition to college involves moving to different cities and even countries. Figuring out all of the steps to get on board with your new life, may feel chaotic. Nobody said it was easy to leave friends and family behind – if you are relocating to a new area – and live on your own for a while.
Some of the most common changes that incoming students face are related to added new responsibilities, time management, making new friends, self-care, and study habits. Although these changes are common to most newly admitted students, everyone is different in the way they cope with and adjust to the changes they encounter. It is important to focus on your own transition and enjoyment instead of comparing yourself to others.
Freedom comes with more responsibility
It is exciting to be able to plan your day freely and explore your new environment. You get to choose where to eat, socialize, and study. If you never had this kind of freedom before, it may feel overwhelming to plan out your daily schedule. Also, sooner than later, you will have to factor in your budget and school schedule into your decisions.
In time, you will learn how to balance school work with socialization.
- Take initiative when it comes to scheduling appointments with your professors
- Make a priority for each day/week/month and plan everything else around it
- Take care of your physical and mental health
- Do one thing you enjoy every day and do it for yourself
Effective time management
Time is of the essence when it comes to college. It does not take too long before midterm exams and finals creep up on you. Remember that college work will be more demanding and your daily schedule may be erratic at times.
Keep in mind that it is nearly impossible to find the perfect balance in work and leisure time. Some days may feel loaded with lab work, exams, and lots of studying, other days may feel like you have taken a vacation.
- Prioritize the most important tasks and do them first
- Hold yourself accountable to your goals by organizing group study sessions
- Ask your advisors and counsellors for help
Relationships lie at the core of everything we do. A good support system can make the transition to college life all the more enjoyable and easier. However, you may not always get the ideal roommate(s) and you may find yourself in the middle of conflicts when you least expect it.
- Resolve any conflict with a roommate directly with the appropriate authorities
- Join organizations and/or clubs that will help you feel like you belong
- Work out with others on campus
- Take time to be simply spend time by yourself if you need it
Studying for college courses is very different from studying for high school classes. Midterms and finals may create anxiety for newly admitted students. However, with effective note-taking strategies and doing a good preparation for your classes, you will manage the extensive work college promises.
- Think about the value in the material you are learning about to help you focus in class
- Go over material that you have difficulty comprehending
- Develop analytical reading skills
- Ask fellow students for help when studying
Remember, you will get homesick at times and you will miss the way things were. And that is okay! By giving yourself the time you need to transition into the next chapter of your life, you will learn all the necessary skills to cope with the difficulties that come your way.
- 1. https://caps.ucsc.edu/resources/adjust-to-college.html
- 2. https://counseling.dasa.ncsu.edu/adjusting-to-college/
- 3. Norvilitis, J. M., Darlow, V., Schuetze, P. (2017) The relationship between helicopter parenting and adjustment to college. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26, 2291–2298. DOI 10.1007/s10826-017-0751-3