Overcoming Your Biggest Freshman Fears
Going to college can be an extremely unnerving experience. When I first went to UCLA, I arrived fresh(man)faced after my first big solo drive across the continent to find an environment which was as alien as Mars. The rules and regulations of everyday life in university are a far cry from what anyone has experienced in high school. There are greater responsibilities but at the same time, outrageous temptations to go completely off the tracks. Every freshman has to determine where they will decide to situate themselves on the tipping point between studying hard and partying hard. That can naturally create a significant amount of fear and anxiety in the student as it is an entire ecosystem which has no familiar reference points, but there are some easy ways to overcoming your biggest freshman fears:
I'll be broke - Very few freshmen are independently wealthy so finances are a very common problem. Concentrate on stretching the budget you do have and pick up a decent on-campus job for extra money. Avoid the temptation to sign up for costly college credit cards, and only spend what you have!
I'm going to flunk - There is no doubt that your courses now are far more involved, challenging, and intensive than what you had to face in high school… but there's more help available too! You'll find there are extensive campus resources to assist you every step of the way.
I'll be lonely - All freshmen have the same concern, and many have come from across oceans to attend your school. Take advantage of Orientation and other freshman social events, and don't be afraid to jump in and say hello. Remember: it's just as new for them as it is for you.
The Freshman Fifteen will get me - Don't think that being a freshman means gorging on pizza and swilling beer all night. Pay particular attention to eating healthy food and getting plenty of exercise. Not only will your waistline thank you, but you'll find it's easier to concentrate on your studies when you're fit and well-nourished.
I'll get stressed out - There's no point getting stressed about getting stressed. You should be fine as long as you keep your studies and social events in perspective and get plenty of sleep. All night cramming sessions never work anyway. Don't remotely consider burning the candle at both ends as you're going to be the one burnt out.
I won't get accepted at a Greek House - Most freshmen applicants are turned down, so that doesn't equate to the end of your social life. There are an infinite number of clubs and social events at your school that are open to students who don't belong to fraternities or sororities.
My profs will intimidate me - Professors are usually very genial individuals who are happy to deal with your concerns. As long as you approach them in a respectful manner and follow their advice, you don't have to worry about getting antagonized.
Freshmen have feared their first college days since time immemorial. Just relax, follow these tips, and you'll be just fine!
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