One of the most exciting milestones most teens and young adults look forward to is college. Being in college is way different than high school. When you’re in high school, you know many people, have tons of friends, and are close to home.
Meanwhile, in college, everything’s different. You may have more flexible schedules, but it also means it’s your responsibility to handle your time, grades, subjects, and everything else. Unlike in high school, no teacher will constantly remind you about assignments and school works. Most of all, as you move across a different state or city, you won’t be surrounded by old friends and family. That’s why some teens who didn’t have a good high school experience tend to consider college as a clean slate and a new page to restart their lives.
Whether you’re looking forward to attending college or not, the whole transition can be stressful for most of you, especially the first year. Your first college year will be all about making adjustments and trying to settle down on your own, all of which can be overwhelming.
To help you get through this milestone in life, here are six tips to help you manage stress during the college transition:
1. Let Go Of Any Expectations
Whether you admit it or not, you’ve probably set some expectations towards the idea of going to college. Some of you may expect that college will be full of fun, carefree, and independent experiences. However, setting too many expectations can put you under pressure to do things the ‘right’ way. And when things don’t turn out the way you expected, you’ll only feel disappointed and stressed.
Before starting the semester, make sure to let go of any expectations you have and focus on the present. For instance, if you’ve set out to find some student housing near your university, let go of the expectation that you’ll meet new friends in the area right away. Instead, focus on settling down first by browsing student accommodations such as Strawberry Student Accommodation and other housing options. Stay still and do things one at a time.
2. Create A New Routine
Your routine way back in high school has helped keep stability and balance in your life, so as much as possible, try to do the same thing when going to college. Once you’re on campus during the first month, try creating a routine that involves scheduling your study time and your sleep schedule.
This may sound like an easy feat, but in reality, many college students find it challenging to stick to a routine or even create one due to the new experienced freedom and less guidance from teachers or parents. If you wish to relieve yourself from a lot of stress in the future, take the initiative to establish a healthy routine.
3. Make An Effort To Connect With People
As mentioned, when you’re in college, you’ll be surrounded by many unfamiliar faces. Some may find this an exciting opportunity to meet new people while others tend to feel nervous, overwhelmed, and stressed about meeting new faces. If you’re struggling to find friends, here are tips to help reduce the stress of connecting with people:
- Join a club that interests you or corresponds to your hobbies
- Introduce yourself to your dormmates and anyone living on the same floor
- Join study groups
- Browse part-time jobs for college students
- Join on-campus events
Don’t pressure yourself to meet a lot of friends right away. After all, you’re not alone. Sooner or later, as you become more comfortable with your new life, it’ll be easier for you to make friends and get along with the people in your classes.
4. Take Advantage Of Campus Resources
Most college universities usually have counselling offices that can help you in your transition. Try to seek out these resources within your campus and take advantage of them. If you’re having a hard time adjusting to your dorm, talk to a professional counsellor. If you’re struggling in your subjects or classes, seek advice from your instructor. These people know that transitioning in college can take time, and they’ll be more than happy to help you succeed.
5. Interact With Your Friends And Family At Home
Just because you’re a hundred or thousands of miles away doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with your parents or high school friends. Thankfully, you have the internet and technology to help you reach out to them. If your transition is overwhelming and stressful, don’t hesitate to text or call them. It’s soothing and comforting to connect with familiar people again, especially when everything around you feels so different.
6. Look After Your Physical And Mental Health
As much as you want to focus on your academic performance and social life, make sure you’re not neglecting your physical and mental health. Regardless of how much you study or how often you hang out with your friends and study group, stress will still come after you if you’re not looking after yourself.
Strive to eat three times a day, eat nutritious meals, take some time to exercise, meditate, and most importantly, get enough sleep.
Going to college can be exciting, but the transitioning stage can be stressful. So, let these tips help you cope with the stress of stepping into this new milestone, and don’t forget to always look after yourself. When you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy, it’ll be easier for you to soar high through your college years.