The first few days and weeks of college are an experience unlike many others.   From the rollercoaster of emotions to the swarm of new information, people, and places, freshman year can be quite overwhelming.  Personally, I’ve never been away from home or from my parents for more than a week at a time.  I consider myself a homebody- someone who is most comfortable in the confines of their house’s four walls- so as you can imagine, watching my parents drive away on move-in day was nothing short of terrifying.  I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t know where any buildings or classes were, I was homesick, and I was devoid of any sort of routine.  It was rough.

Nevertheless the first few days went by, as did the first few weeks, and before I knew it the first month was over.  I learned a lot in those first thirty or so days, including the fact that patience is key, that everybody adjusts differently, and that it’s crucial to continue taking care of yourself.

Patience was important in regards to transitioning to college life.  As I mentioned, I had never been away from my parents for more than a week or so.  I was in no way adjusted to waking up miles from home with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar place, and never thought I would be able to go a day without longing to be back on Long Island.  Patience helped me take one day at a time and understand that I would eventually be able to feel like I belonged on campus.  The same goes for pretty much everyone who’s adjusting.

This brings me to the second thing I learned: that everyone adjusts differently.  Some people are used to being away from their family and from home.  Some people know a lot of old friends in their dorm or around campus.  Others are the opposite.  Some people take an entire semester and sometimes an entire year (as I’ve heard) to adjust.  It’s not exactly the same for any two people.  Because of this, how you deal with adjusting to the college lifestyle is unique.  You might be fine starting the moment you’re dropped off, or you might need to seek help through counseling or someone you trust to help you understand that it’s going to work out.  Either way, it’s okay!

No matter what, though, the most important thing is to continue taking care of yourself both mentally and physically.  Get enough sleep even if everyone’s staying up until 4 a.m., drink lots of water, don’t base your diet on ramen and cookies, hit the gym or find a way to exercise regularly, and always make sure to find time for yourself.  Learning to balance your social life with academics is much more difficult in college than it is in high school, so continuing to care for your health will only help you to be successful in doing so.

In all, it’s important to enjoy your time at college whether it’s your first year or your last.  And no matter what you choose to do with your time, it’s always good to know that once you adjust it can be quite an enjoyable ride.


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