Congratulations new grads!
For months, you workshopped your college essay, studied for the SATs, and eagerly awaited those acceptance letters. Now, all of your hard work has paid off and you’re getting ready to leave for college for the first time. Now the transition to college life begins.
Many college freshmen experience anxiety and sadness about leaving their friends and family behind and living on campus for the first time. By figuring out how to cope with these emotions, you can learn to truly live in the moment and make the most of your first year at college. Here’s how our team of skilled therapists at Renewed Wellness Counseling can help!
Challenges of the Transition to College
It’s normal to have mixed emotions about going away to college. For example, you might feel both excited and nervous about living on your own, making new friends, choosing your major – and all the other milestones along the way. Some of the challenges you might be thinking about during this transition include…
A New Living Situation
If you are planning to live on campus your freshman year of college, you’ll likely be living on your own for the first time.
Moving out of your parent’s house is a huge milestone – but it can also be a scary transition. Whether you are attending college a short drive from home or across the country, you probably won’t be able to depend on your parents the way you used to when you lived with them.
If you don’t have siblings, it might also be your first time sharing a living space with roommates – and navigating the potential conflicts that come along with the territory.
In a survey conducted by CollegeData, the majority of college freshmen said the aspect of college they felt most unprepared for was academics.
Even if you have taken AP classes before, the fact is that most college classes are more rigorous and require more studying than what you may be used to from high school. Many first-year students feel overwhelmed by the size of the workload and struggle to succeed in their classes.
High schoolers are used to being busy, with schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, and maybe even a part-time job.
Because college classes occur on a more infrequent schedule than high school classes, many college students find themselves with a lot of free time on their hands. Without your parents watching over you, you’ll be fully responsible for deciding how you spend that time.
In your first year of college, you might be excited about social engagements like joining clubs or going to parties. However, you’ll also need to balance those engagements with responsibilities, like school, work, and taking care of your physical and mental health.
Three Ways You Can Cope with the Transition to College
If you’re going away to college for the first time, it’s important to manage your emotions regarding this transition. While anxiety is a normal part of any major life change, excessive anxiety can stop you from enjoying your life at college – and even become debilitating. Here are three therapist-approved tips for managing your anxiety about going to college for the first time, so it doesn’t hold you back from living life to the fullest:
1. Take advantage of resources on campus.
Colleges know what it’s like to be a first-time student: they do their best to anticipate the challenges freshmen are facing and offer solutions to those challenges. For example, you might be able to turn to the career center for help with money management. Or you can attend the student activities fair to find new friends. Many colleges even offer free counseling to support students’ mental health Contact student services or a support person, such as an RA or professor, to find out what’s offered at your college.
2. Use time-blocking to schedule your days.
If you find yourself struggling to find enough hours in the day for school, work, friends, family, and self-care, time blocking is one skill you can use to manage your time wisely. Time blocking allows you to reserve time to get things done. As well as to take care of your physical and mental health, through activities such as exercise and relaxation. By blocking out time for the activities that matter most to you, you can create new routines and structures to help you stay on track while living on your own.
3. Know when to seek professional help.
It’s normal to feel a little nervous or even sad during the college transition. However, you’ll likely find that these emotions improve with time. If you find that you feel worse instead of better as time goes on. Or that your depression or anxiety is so severe that they are interfering with your ability to function, it may be an indication that you are struggling with a more serious mental health issue. If this is the case for you, don’t be afraid to contact your school’s mental health services. Or you can connect with an online therapy practice like Renewed Wellness Counseling.
Remember: the college transition is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone!
Start Counseling for College Students in New Bern, NC
Life transitions can cause tumultuous feelings of being out of control. However, that relentlessness, irritability, and sense of dread you feel can be eased. Our therapists can teach you how to not give power to those unhelpful negative thoughts so you can take control of your life and start living again. We believe that you deserve it. Get started with therapy at our counseling practice in New Bern, NC with these steps:
1. Fill out this consult form.
2. Read about our skilled therapists.
3. Begin living a life with less anxiety and more joy!
Other Services at Renewed Wellness
At our New Bern, NC-based therapy practice, we offer more than just therapy for life transitions, we offer counseling services for anxiety and stress. Our therapists specialize specifically in chronic illness counseling and addiction counseling. Let’s work together to get you to a good place!