Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Taking the Stress Out of College: Knowing What to Expect

Many college students realize they weren’t realistic about college. Some expect to find it hard living away from home, not only in terms of missing family but also in dealing with practical stuff like washing your own clothes. If anticipated, these issues can be less stressful.

Living away from home tends to be the toughest adjustment for first-year students. You’ve had a clear role within your family all of your life: the family comedian, the mediator, maybe the translator. These roles can help you feel like you belong somewhere. It can be hard adjusting to a new place and a new way of fitting in — especially if it seems like your family is doing fine without you.

You may feel homesick in your first weeks and months. The first thing to know about homesickness is that it’s very common. In fact, just about everyone experiences it
at some point in his or her life. It might not feel like it when you’re in it, but going through homesickness helps us all grow stronger and builds our coping skills. Homesickness can force you to challenge yourself into trying new ways of meeting people. Try joining your campus gym and taking exercise classes or studying in public places like libraries and cafes.

Try to identify your feelings and fears, and talk about what you’re going through. The sooner you deal with these issues, the sooner you’ll feel better. If you are homesick, it can help to call, write, or email your parents, other family members, and friends from home to let them know how you’re doing and to tell them you miss them.

Who else can you talk to? For starters, that person sharing the dorm room with you. Roommates can be great built-in buddies. As first-year students themselves, they’re probably experiencing many of the same fears and worries that you’re dealing with.

But what if you don’t get along with your roommate?

To read the rest of this article, check out the latest issue of High School Illustrated – USA National Edition for iPad and iPhone, completely free on the App Store.

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