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Some Tips for Coping with the Transition to College
- Eat and sleep well; get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
- Avoid caffeine.
- If you drink or smoke, do so in moderation. Stay alert at parties; go and leave with a friend you trust.
- Make academics a priority.
- Get to know your advisor. Ask him/her for tips on getting off to a good start academically.
- Ease into the social part of things gradually. Pay attention to YOUR values. Give yourself permission to “stick to your guns” when you need to.
- Establish open lines of communication with your roommate(s) and hallmates. Learn how to be assertive when you need to be. (For tips on assertiveness, visit the Counseling Center to pick up literature, or schedule an appointment with a counselor.)
- Get to know your RA. If you don’t “click,” then find another RA in your building whom you CAN talk to, try your FSA, or both!
- Find a quiet place to study.
- Seek out a special “haven” on campus or in town where you feel comfortable. Avoid extensive time with TV or the computer or on the phone long-distance.
- Take part in special events and activities on campus. Ask a friend to join you.
- Join an organization. Try something different. Consider service or volunteer work. BUT be careful not to over-extend or over-commit yourself.
- Cultivate a craft or hobby. Play music or musical instruments. Dance. Play.
- Learn what resources are available to you: Your advisor, your faculty, the Dean of Students, the Office of Religious Life, Residence Life, The Counseling Center, ACCEL, and the Health Center, to name a few.
- Make new friends but keep the old.
- Stay in touch with your family.
- Keep a journal. Pay attention to your feelings. Write about them.
- If you feel “down” or upset much of the time, consider talking with a friend, your RA, a faculty member or a counselor.
- Adjust your expectations to make them realistic. A lot of people come to college expecting “the best time of their lives.” When expectations don’t or can’t get met, it can be devastating.
- Nurture your spiritual side.
The bottom line: Seek balance in your life and try to take one day at a time.