With college looming on the horizon, you might have some fears that leave you a little afraid to test the collegiate waters in the fall. Don’t let these common nerves keep you up at night! With this advice we hope you’ll be ready to dive on in when August rolls around.
Q: Will I be smart enough?
A: Proper study habits will keep you sharp and your grades high.
- Set up no-interruption study times.
- Listen to wordless music while studying to avoid impromptu sing-alongs.
- Limit study groups to acquaintances to avoid getting off topic with friends.
- Set mini-deadlines for projects so you will not be forced to write a whole paper the night before.
Q: What if I get homesick?
A: Homesickness will come and go as the semester drags on, but these tips can help:
- Decorate your dorm room and make it a home away from home.
- Meet people!
- Call home. Between Skype and cell phones, contacting people far away has never been easier!
Q: How will I make friends?
A: College is full of people, many of whom you might have more in common with than you think!
Join clubs related to your interests.
Volunteer groups or local churches are a great place to meet like-minded peers.
Get to know your roommate!
Greek life is a popular way to gain memories and a surrogate family.
Q: Will I get along with my roommates?
A: They can be your best friends or, at the very least, peaceful acquaintances. Compromise is key!
- Be aware of their schedules. If you need to stay up and they want to sleep, use a directed lamp instead of the overhead. If you’re the early-to-bed type, invest in an eye mask.
- Respect their space. If you’re a slob and they like to keep things pristine, try to clean up and don’t let your mess spill into their area.
- Be flexible about differing opinions and look for things you have in common, be they movies, majors, or hobbies, rather than your differences.
Q: How do I deal with pressure to drink/ have sex/etc?
A: Chances are, you will encounter some peer pressure. The key is being prepared when the inevitable arises.
- Avoid events that might run the risk of making you uncomfortable. Decide your boundaries before you go out and have your “out,” or escape plan, ready.
- Use the buddy system to keep you accountable and watch your back. It is best to travel in threes so that you will not be alone if someone decides to bail.
- If you feel trapped or in danger, call the police or security. Your safety comes first.
Parents Get College Cold Feet Too!
Q: What if my child has an emergency? How do I know they will be safe?
A: There are resources at many schools to keep students safe. Make sure your teen:
- Programs the numbers for campus security and the police into their phone.
- Knows the location of local clinics and hospitals.
- Always carries up-to-date medical and auto insurance.
- Knows not be afraid to call you if they need help or advice (or bail money!)
92% of college campuses have sworn-in police officers to protect their students according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Q: How can I help my child, and myself, transition?
A: Letting go is hard, but an important part of both of your lives.
Ways to ease the blow:
- Sending care packages and cards (everyone loves getting a “happy”).
- Give your child space, but express interest in their activities when they call.
- Develop new hobbies of your own so you have something new to tell them when they come home!