Making the College Transition

Transitioning from high school to college is one of the biggest challenges you'll face in your young adult life. But in addition to all the excitement it brings, it's also normal to face some new challenges. Here's what you can expect:

Feeling homesick. Most first-year students feel this way and some more than others. What can you do if you feel homesick at college? Set aside time to talk with your family on a regular basis to help you feel connected. Also, give yourself something to look forward to by planning your next visit to see your family. 

Managing your time. It's all up to you now. In spite of all the freedom you have with your schedule, it's very important to develop a routine for eating, sleeping, staying active, and studying.

Managing your money. New experiences often come with out of the ordinary expenses. Do your best to establish a monthly budget. If you feel like you're falling short on money, consider a work-study position or a part-time job.

Finding it challenging to stay fit and healthy. Your new schedule may not include the same activities you participated in in high school and studying more may result in a more sedentary lifestyle. What can you do to change things up? Consider joining an intramural sport to stay in shape and work off stress. Plan to go for a walk each day to clear your mind or run errands. Also, set a goal to develop healthy eating habits and remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. A balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and staying active will help you stay alert and keep you from getting sick.

Feeling lonely. Everyone feels this way from time to time. If you feel like you want a more social interaction, consider attending campus events or find a student organization that interests you so you can meet and hang out with more people. Or, simply ask someone from one of your classes or residence hall to join you for coffee or a meal at the cafeteria.  

Feeling overwhelmed by academics. College courses are well-known for requiring more reading, papers, and comprehensive exams. What can you do to keep the pace? 

  • Attend class and take good notes
  • Submit your homework on time
  • Study twice as much as you need to 
  • Put your phone down and concentrate on your work
  • Talk to your professors 
  • Seek a tutor if you need help

Know that it's normal to feel all these things. But, with a little planning ahead, you will be ready to face the challenges of your college transition.