It is a common cliché that “the college years are supposed to be the best years of your life.” If you are a freshman who is feeling upset and miserable, this can be a very confusing and scary expectation. It is important to remember that it is normal to feel sad and scared during the first several weeks of college. You are in a new, demanding environment and everything is different. If you are a freshman who is distressed, you may see other students seeming happy and optimistic but many freshmen struggle even if they don’t show it.
Here are some things to try to help you adjust:
- Reach out to others in your hostel or class. You are likely to find that you are not the only one who is sad and upset. Your local guardian, professor is a good resource to talk to and to help you figure out how to cope.
- Join campus organizations and clubs that appeal to you. These activities do not have to be a perfect match for you, but can still help you to meet and interact with others who share similar interests or may looking to meet friends.
- Make an extra effort to take care of yourself, including making time to rest, eat balanced meals, exercise and avoid abuse of alcohol or other drugs. Try to develop a manageable schedule, including identifying your optimal place and time in the day to study.
- Adjust your expectations if things are not working out as you planned. For example, your roommate might not be your best friend. You may need to initiate conversations about conflict over personal space and living habits. Recognize that relationships take time to develop (e.g. most students’ friendships from home formed over a period of years), and that your surroundings will become more familiar over time.
- Seek out resources on campus that can help you address problems and get support, both academically and personally. These varied resources include your advisor, professors, the Counseling Center, the Student Council, and the KMC counselling Helpline.