Top 10 Freshman Year Challenges. How to Survive?
If you thought that college was all about cookies, rainbows, parties and freedom, you might want to reconsider that. Indeed, college is one of the best times of a student’s life, and you will definitely miss those years when you get older, get a job and have to raise a couple of kids. However, during this time of your life, you may feel as if your college problems are getting on your last nerve, leading one step closer at a time towards the shrink’s office. This article aims to provide you with some strategies that will help you survive with the utmost success.
Before entering college, you were used to having your own room which you barely shared with your siblings – let alone a complete stranger. Having someone so up in your personal space can definitely cause a great deal of anxiety and lots of wrecked nerves. Living with someone else is tough, and only when you start Googling “how to murder your roommate without getting caught” do you realize that some rules should be put in order to avoid a disaster. These college freshman problems should be approached in a smart way: the first step would be to work through the conflicts and continuously communicate with your roomies. Each dorm needs to have their own set of rules which have been agreed upon by all those living in the quarters. Are you allowed to borrow clothes from one another? If they ask first, they probably could. Also, whenever you have something you want from your roommate, you also need to be upfront and ask. You don’t want to get on each other’s toes right off the bat.
Remember when we mentioned cookies and rainbows? Well, things are pretty much like this: you expect the whole experience to be overwhelming and amazing – and you know that you are not alone. You’ve been hearing tales about college students ever since you entered high school, and now that you’re finally there, you’re more than ready to pull out your adventure hat and live your life.
However, while college may be one of the best times of your life, it can also be one with the most hardships. You will have a new home, a new routine, new classes, new friends – everything you have known for your entire life will suddenly change. Don’t worry about any mixed feelings (loneliness, sadness, excitement), because they are all normal. You can also overcome anxiety by having some realistic expectations.
Many college students heard about this urban legend, The Freshman 15. The idea is that once you get into college, you are bound to gain a few extra pounds (due to the amount of junk food you will eat). In order to avoid this, you might want to focus on a healthier diet and exercise a bit to keep those extra pounds away.
Most students associate college with frat parties and endless drinking sessions. If alcohol is not your thing, then there are many things you can do without sending your brain into “Text your ex!” mode. However, if you are of legal age and want to get a drink or two, remember also to drink smart and safe. Don’t accept drinks from persons you do not know, be aware of your limits, and stay close to your friends. Also, you may want to drink a bottle of water every now and then, to lessen the effects of a future hangover.
Careful of the Budget
The average student is usually sent to college on a tight budget, so one of their biggest freshman challenges is to get that money to last throughout the entire week. Lucky for them, there are many places that offer student discounts such as theaters, restaurants, museums and means of transportation. You can have lots of fun without spending all your allowance – you just have to get creative. You may also want to avoid purchases on impulse – it’s very easy to empty your credit card and go into debt as well.
“Party now, sleep later” seems to be the motto of every student going off to college. However, sleep is crucial! If you don’t get your much-needed sleep, not only will your grades and class work be affected, but your health as well. You won’t have the energy needed to go on your everyday tasks, and your body will basically half-shut down to help you stay up. You may want to reduce caffeine and get your 8 hours of sleep every night – that’s how you stay healthy.
Every student is bound to feel a little homesick during the first semester of college. It is recommended that you keep in contact with your old friends and family, but keep in mind that you should also make some new friends there. The more integrated you get into a group, the less homesick you will be.
Teachers, parents, and coaches used to be the people to organize your time. Now, in college, you will have to manage time on your own. The professors may strut in the classroom on the first day, leave you your assignments, and then leave. It’s up to you to organize your semester assignments so that you can meet your deadlines. You can also look for some online homework help if you’re in a pinch.
The level of school work and writing problems you had in high school can’t compare with the ones you’ll have to deal with in college. Set some goals for yourself, get into study groups and avoid all-nighters. These will help improve the level of knowledge you retain.
Sex and Sexuality
Stay safe if you’re sexually active. Inform yourself on safe sex practice, because no matter how much you may trust your partner, you can’t know their entire sexual history. Also, always ask a trusted person like a counselor if you have any question.
Remember that every freshman problem can be solved. You may just need some time, and in some cases, a little bit of help.