Tips for Transitioning to College
While college is said to be one of the best times of your life, for many students it can be the hardest. Some pitfalls that hinder first-year college students are lack of time management skills, proper diet and exercise, poor sleep habits, and of course, stress. However, we’ve put together some tips to help you navigate through the first-year college process and maximize your first-year success!
Give yourself time to figure things out.
As you are transitioning from high school to college, you will find yourself facing some tough decisions: identifying your major, how you will make friends, what organizations you will be joining, etc. Don’t expect to adjust to college right away. Let yourself make mistakes, and don’t be too hard on yourself. College is about getting to know yourself through experiences and mistakes you will make. Learn from them and continue to try new things. You’ve made it this far, believe in yourself!
Use your resources.
Every campus will have resources that students already pay for, so why not take advantage of them? Most campuses have writing centers, tutors that have been assigned to specific classes, or tutors to help with any subject, and a well-being department that offers FREE counseling to students. During the first week of school, campuses usually have fairs where students get to explore and gain knowledge on what types of resources are available to them. At Uplift Education, our students who transition to college have an entire team dedicated to seeing them succeed in their post-secondary ventures. Our Road To College and Career team’s Alumni Success Counselors check in with students, help them find on-campus tutoring, work/study programs, as well as host networking events around the DFW metroplex to ensure students are acclimating to college.
Get to know your roommate.
For those of you who are living in the dorms for your first year, roommate(s) can be a great source for building a support group on campus while you are going through the transition. For many, this is the first time moving away from home. You may miss your friends, family, and pets, but you are also excited about this new journey. Your roommate will be one of the people you’ll see the most, so it’s important to find common ground with them from day one and to make sure that you are both respecting each other’s boundaries. It’s also wise to build a relationship with your RA, along with the other students in your dorm, to foster a healthy college community.
Find your inner circle.
Find your inner circle that makes you feel included and comfortable; this could be with someone you met at orientation, an organization, roommate, etc. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with a classmate. You never know if that one person can become a trusted friend. You should also be willing to join either an interest group or an intermural sport. Joining these groups exposes you to like-minded college students and establishes something you have in common with everyone there.
Develop coping strategies.
Just like in high school, in college you will have times when you feel stressed and overwhelmed, and it is essential to find coping strategies that work for you. You can go to the gym, go for a walk, talk to your friends, or use counseling services. You are not alone in this, we understand that school can be a roller coaster of emotions and challenges, so make sure you take care of yourself and seek help when needed.
You’ve already made the great decision to attend college to better your career, so be sure to leverage these tips to ensure that you enjoy your time there. Lifelong friendships and crucial career connections come from the relationships you build while in college.