Adjusting to College Life
While the transition from high school to college is certainly a major life change, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Here are some things to keep in mind as you adjust to your new life:
- Consider how much time you want to spend on maintaining friendships from home and building new friendships. Connecting with others and forging new friendships doesn’t happen overnight. Get involved in campus activities, try out for a sports team, or join a club. Better yet—start one yourself!
- It’s normal to experience stress while adjusting to living with a roommate, especially if you’ve never had one before. Try to maintain open communication with your roommate(s). You can use this formula: “I feel _____________ (state emotion) when you ___________________ (state observed behavior; be objective). Next time, I’d like it if you would ________________ (state your wish for their behavior next time).” Keep in mind that your roommate may choose not to change his/her behavior, but you may have some peace of mind knowing you’ve done your part to express your feelings and thoughts about the situation.
- Make “self care” your number one priority. By taking care of yourself (eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and taking time out for yourself), you greatly decrease your risk of developing undue stress and physical illness.
- Consider adopting some healthy eating habits.
- A good night’s sleep is the best way to ward off undue amounts of stress and physical illness. Check out our webpage on sleep hygiene.
- Consider starting an exercise routine, if you don’t have one already. Check out our physical activity tips.
- Financial concerns are normal. Consider ways that you can save money, including working a few hours a week on- or off-campus.
- Develop good study skills – find out what method of organization works best for you (if you need assistance, contact the Learning Resource Network or go to the library for information on academic tutors).
- Figure out how best to prioritize and manage your time. Sometimes it helps to make a schedule of your classes and then block out time for studying, work, exercising, eating, volunteering, time with friends, and time for self.
If you are still struggling with your adjustment to college life, Arcadia University Counseling Center staff members are available to provide on-campus support and help you access the resources you need in order to be academically and personally successful at college.