Starting college is like beginning all over again. Unlike freshman year of high school, you find yourself living in a new home, with new friends, and new teachers. It’s no wonder why so many freshmen have anxiety over their first few months of college. But don’t hit the panic button, there’s so much you can do to fight off common freshman year fears!
1. I’ll Fail
What happens when you’re in your first lecture and are tasked with your first assignment? Will you know enough or be good enough? The answer is yes, as long as you have mastered how to work independently. It’s the truth that college classes are designed to be a challenge. No longer will you have the safety net of teachers and parents there to guide you through. Instead, you’ll need to improve with each and every single assignment. Writing, especially, can be the hardest part of your first year. That is why many schools offer composition courses, free tutoring, and open hours at writing centers. Take advantage of these opportunities, as well as TAs, professors’ office hours, and study groups. You will only become a stronger student if you put in the work.
2. I Won’t Make Friends
Like many high schoolers, you probably had a whole group of friends—possibly since kindergarten, or even before. Your walls are full of pictures and your yearbooks are scribbled with memories. But heading off to a new school means that you won’t have your old friends to run to when you need them or even a familiar face to have lunch with. Have no fear, you’re not alone! College is the perfect time to meet new pals. Start by checking out activities you enjoy to find like-minded people. Cast a wider net to those in your major classes or people who live in your dorms. With similar schedules, you can start making dinner dates or hosting parties in your new room. Eventually, a relationship will stick and you’ll find friends that will last you a lifetime.
3. I’ll be Homesick
Saying goodbye to your parents, your bedroom, and your beloved pet is not easy. The first few weeks are especially tough as you long to go home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. Resist all urges to head to your car for a trip back and limit your conversations with friends and family. Instead, get involved more with your new school and town. Check out some highly recommended restaurants, start a workout routine, or even take a new friend out on a shopping trip. The more you focus on your new life, the easier it will be to stop longing for your old one. Check out some additional tips on combating homesickness.
4. I Won’t be Cool Enough
Here’s a secret many freshman forget: you can be anyone you want. Were you the jock in high school, but you really liked playing Dungeons & Dragons? Ditch the gym and organize a game with new friends! Were you a video game nerd with a penchant for the dramatic? Leave your gaming system at home and try out for the theater instead. If you want to reinvent yourself, go for it! The old rules of what makes someone “cool” are no longer applicable. Spend the next four years becoming the person you have always wanted to be.
5. My Roommate Will be Horrible
The truth is that bad roommates do exist. Ditch your worries, schools are prepared with ways to either mediate issues or help you move out if needed. Start your roommate relationship on the right foot by setting up a roommate agreement and asking important questions. If nothing works, just know that your roommate doesn’t have to be forever.
Your first few weeks of freshman year may seem like entering a whole new world. Take the next few days to explore your environment and set up safeguards such as attending a tutoring program or checking out an activity fair. By simply being a positive, upbeat person, you can combat these five common fears and make your freshman year the best one yet.