Adjusting to College
Being halfway through my first semester as a freshman at Saint Joseph’s University, I have certainly learned a lot of important lessons about college life. College is far from what I expected to be, but that is not necessarily a bad thing- but I have definitely been thrown a few curveballs since move-in day at the end of summer. Just keep in mind that freshman year is hard for everyone- you are not alone if you are feeling the freshman blues!
Meeting New People
Making friends on the first day of college for me was a very daunting thought. It was already scary enough that I was leaving my home, my family and my friends, but the fact that I was being thrown into a new city and a new room with a total stranger was a lot for me to process at first. I can honestly say that I was terrified. But once I was all moved into my room and started talking to other people, I realized that I was not the only one feeling that way. Being a freshman is great in a way- you can have a fresh start with new people. No matter how scary it may feel at first, don’t forget that at least one other person is in the exact same boat as you. If I could go back and give myself one piece of advice for the beginning of my first semester, I would have told myself to always remember that I am not alone in feeling lonely and nervous. Whether you are nervous about making friends, living with a new person, or exorbitant amounts of homework, there is always someone who can empathize with you.
Inevitably, there will come a time when all of your professors will decide to pile more homework on you than they have all semester. Typically they give you all of this work when one of the too many clubs you joined at the activities fair also require your attention. Trust me when I say this is something that happens to everyone at some point, But also trust me when I say that you can move past the stressful situation with at least some peace of mind. The most important thing to do in this type of situation is to delegate your time wisely to each activity. I recommend staying organized. In this type of situation, I normally make a to-do list in which the items are numbered in order of importance. This will help you to prioritize which things to do first and how much time to spend on each.
Roommates… The good and the bad
When you spend so much time living in the same room with a person it is very difficult to avoid arguments or fights with your roommate. Whether it is personal space issues, large messes, or clashing personalities, it is totally normal for you to argue with your roommate. From my own experience, I recommend addressing the problems you have as they come up in a calm and respectful manner. While it is not important or necessary for you to be best friends with your roommate, it is important that you can, at the very least, tolerate being in the same room. As long as you can address things that make you uncomfortable while also addressing the positive aspects of your relationship with your roommate, things should go smoothly. After some trial and error with this for me and my roommate, the two of us have gotten much closer and consider each other good friends now.
The overall experience
College is most likely the first time ever that you will be living away from your parents with total control over your own destiny. Take advantage of that opportunity! College can be a difficult adjustment for many people, but it is so important to get involved on campus and take as many opportunities as possible to do so. As long as you are making a conscious effort to be present on campus, you will find yourself meeting new people and having a good time.
Good luck to all of you, whether you are a prospective college student or are currently at college. Enjoy these next four years- they go by fast!