Making the transition from home to college is enormous. As soon as you enter your freshman year of college, it feels like every bit of your life and routine has changed, and is only continuing to change, day by day. Obviously, this isn’t always the easiest situation to handle, without some fumbling. That’s understandable.
As exciting as the newfound freedom can be, it doesn’t come without its challenges. You’re going from living under your parents roof and by their rules, to having total control over how you live your daily life. If you’ve never had this level of freedom before, you might not know how to handle it — at least, not at first.
In fact, around one-third of college freshmen experience some kind of mental health issue. If you’re currently struggling, then you’re not alone.
So, as you begin your journey of self-exploration and college planning, don’t beat yourself up over the occasional mistake. In fact, here are some of the most common mistakes and challenges faced by college freshmen.
1. Setting a Schedule (and Sticking to It)
This is possibly one of the biggest adjustments college freshmen will need to make, regarding their increasing freedom. More than anything, in order to balance your schoolwork, job, and social life, you’re going to need a good deal of discipline. At the end of the day, it can be easy to slack off in any of these areas, simply due to a lack of motivation.
For instance, no one is forcing you to go to class. This is certainly a different experience to high school. However, if you decide to frequently skip class, you’re the only one who’s going to suffer. Your grades will probably fall, and you could even risk losing academic scholarships.
So, not only do you need to know your schedule, you need to stick to it. Consider using a college planner to keep yourself on track.
2. Balancing a New Workload
Personal responsibility also plays an enormous role in how you manage your new workload. Without the strict curriculum requirements of high school, it is far more likely that professors are going to give an abundance of assignments. Not only that, but you’ll need self-discipline if you’re going to get everything done, and get it done on time.
3. Living with Other People (Who Aren’t Your Family)
Consider this: Before entering college, there’s a good chance that you’ve never lived with anyone outside your own family. Once you begin college, however, this will immediately change. Rather than living solely with your guardians or other family members, you’ll be living with entirely new people — people who are often total strangers, before move-in day.
If you are a single child, then this transition can be especially jarring. The level of privacy you have is going to shift, and you’re going to need to deal with another person’s daily and social habits. Even your roommate having a different sleep schedule than you can cause issues, which will need to be reconciled between you two, without losing your temper. You’ll need to make compromises, and be understanding of the other people you are living with.
The transition from home to college is a challenge, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll need to figure it out, on your own. Whether it is family, friends, or one of the many resources available at your new college, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help.