College is a challenging environment to be in. It’s often advertised as the one place you’re supposed to really find yourself. So, when you’re getting lost more than actually solidifying who you are, it probably feels like a scam. This is all very reasonable. But, don’t lose hope just yet, because it’s only the beginning. Psych2Go shares with you 6 tips on how to survive college:
1. Homesickness is very much normal and expected. Instead of trying to deny or fight it off, just embrace it for the time being.
This heavily applies if you’re moving into a dorm on campus as it will certainly take time for you to get well-adjusted to your new environment. It’s not everyday that you share a room with new faces. Allow yourself to feel homesick; it’s perfectly normal. There’s no need to pretend like you don’t miss your friends and family. In fact, reach out and let them know that you’re thinking of them. They might be far away from you, but by communicating how you feel, they can help you overcome it together. There’s no need in battling something alone.
2. Get involved on campus. Join a club!
This will help you step out of your comfort bubble and make new friends based on similar interests. For those of you who are commuting (yes, I haven’t forgotten about you —I did it for 3 years!), this is actually a great way to make connections that you often feel deprived of because you’re not living on campus. By joining clubs that strike your fancy, it’ll also be less overwhelming than going to a party to meet people.
3. Hit the gym or go for walks.
You’re not in high school anymore, which means PE is no longer a requirement. This can cause your body to become less exposed to regular exercise. Make time to hit the gym that your tuition covers or if that’s not your speed, at least take walks around campus with friends or alone while listening to music. This is a great way to relieve stress and keep your body in healthy shape.
4. Use the buddy system when you’re walking on campus at night (or if you’re alone, make sure to have pepper spray on you).
As an introvert, you’re probably used to being around only a few close friends or you may be alone for the most part. This can be dangerous when you’re walking on campus at night. 11.2% of all students experience sexual assault or rape, whether it’s through physical force or violence, with 8.8% of them being females and 2.2% being males. We live in a society where it’s still not talked about enough on how to avoid hurting people in this manner. Instead, we teach others on how to protect themselves. Thus, lives this perpetual cycle of violence and trauma. Still, you’ve never safe wherever you are. So please, if you’re traveling out at night, go with a friend or have some sort of self protection on you, such as pepper spray.
5. You’ll often feel uncertain and wonder if the path you’re on is, in fact, the right one. Talk to your professors and academic advisor to gain more insights.
Here’s the truth: school prepares us so very little for life. Amidst all the test prepping and the research papers that have to be written, there’s still so much that school doesn’t provide, because it’s all merely theoretical. You don’t know what you get yourself into until you’re actually doing it. I switched my major two times when I was a college student. Both times I did it, I was extremely scared of what the future has in hold for me.
But over time, I realized it’s not what the future has that counts. It’s what I have right now in this very moment to help me get where I want to be. And it’s important to make the most of the resources you have accessibility to. Going to your professors and academic advisor is a great way to seek help when you’re feeling lost. This includes receiving tips on studying, signing up for tutoring sessions, and getting another perspective for your “big picture” questions from someone who’s been there. And while they might not necessarily be able to answer all of your questions, sometimes it helps to just talk about your concerns instead of letting them fester up inside.
6. Visit your health counselors.
It usually isn’t made in a public announcement; therefore, most students aren’t aware that there are health counselors on campus that they can go to without having to pay extra. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or other health-related stress from internalizing everything all the time, it’s important to find someone who you can confide in for help. Health counselors are professionally trained to offer assistance and help you get through even the toughest of times. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment.
Are you in college? What are some tips and tricks that help you? Leave a comment down below!
Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics. (2016). Retrieved September 12, 2017.