College Life: The Challenges of a New World

on September 16, 2013

College is meant to be fun – according to Van Wilder and countless other Hollywood versions of campus life. For many students, however, this is the first time away from home, and although Mom is just a phone call away, you don’t want to feel like a complete failure by falling back on them instead of the lasting friendships you could and should be making during this special time in your life.

Feeling daunted by the newness of everything may prevent you from getting out and exploring and the longer you avoid doing so, the harder things will be. Enclosing yourself in your dorm and heading out only to class could make you a recluse, before you have even realized what’s happened.

Going to college is about so much more than studying or partying. It’s about spreading your wings, becoming an adult, meeting new people, disagreeing with opinions and standing up for your beliefs. It’s about expressing yourself and being the person you know you were born to be.

So how do you meet college life head-on?

• Get out and meet people – No, I am not talking about adding friends on Facebook. I mean physically talking to real people. Directly. Standing in front of them. No gadgets and no smartphones. Join groups or go to forums and college meetings. Chat to the people sitting next to you in class. Go to college athletic games and cheer for your team.

• Play sport or exercise – Nothing helps one’s state of mind like a bit of sunlight and exercise. Hit the road, whether for a walk or a run, and get that heart rate up. Join a team sport or find a friend to chase a ball with. There’s always the college gym. Pull on your sneakers and go and check out the sights from a treadmill.

• Ask for help – Feeling like you aren’t coping? You’re not alone. Speak with one of the campus counselors and get the support you need. Often, just talking to another person can make sense of a confusing time in a way you wouldn’t have expected. The counselors are there to assist students wherever and whenever possible.

• Ugh, dirty laundry – Don’t put off those ghastly chores just because you don’t know how to get started. Mom is not around to clean up after you! Talk to your fellow students, and find out how to get to the local Laundromat. Make sure you stay on top of your domestic responsibilities. Getting swamped with dirty laundry, a dirty room or a lack of food won’t help you in other areas of college life.

Take the necessary steps and embrace college life – now is your time, so make it count!


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