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What is the hardest transition for a college freshman?

I am nervous about the transition from living at home and living on campus and would like to know what is the hardest part. #college #teaching #teacher #student #advice #employee

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Toshiro K.’s Answer

Dear Carrie,

From previously teaching at a small college, I can say that the most common difficulty I've seen in first year students is in discipline of time. There are indeed often many fun/social things to do there. Going to a majority of them will mean one has little time for actual studying. As noted from the previous answer, the primary goal is to get a great education and in the process attain a great academic standing.

A tip I gave my students is simply to create a worksheet of what you are doing for each block of time each day. There are a lot of examples on the web. Just search for time management sheet for students. You can get results like https://www.csusb.edu/sites/default/files/Time_Management_New.pdf and http://coewww.rutgers.edu/osp/MoI/TimeManagement.pdf. One generally wants to allocate 3-4 hours outside of class for every hour in class. If one finishes early, huzzah, there is some extra free time! It is very important to make sure to get the appropriate amount of sleep! Most people need 7 to 8 hours per day. Try not to sleep 4-5 hours on the weekdays and then try catch up on sleep on the weekends. A short night of sleep will occur on occasion, but I have found students had a harder time concentrating thereafter. Also, speaking as a husband of an immunologist doctor, I have it on good authority that your body's resistance to disease is reduced with the lack of sleep. Once you made the schedule, try to stick to it. Sometimes it is not easy to do, I know. I forgot who said it, but the quote goes "Getting up early is easy ... Going to sleep early the night before is hard." :-)

Having said the above, one will hopefully find though that there is actually plenty of time for external activities and other things (like laundry :-) ). One should partake in a selective number of such activities. You will find college can be a wonderful time of your life learning many new things and meeting many new people. Really, there is enough time in the week to study well and do some other things.

All the best!

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Garrett’s Answer

Sometimes when you apply to things in your freshman year it can be hard to face rejection. However, it's important to look at everything with a positive outlook and using any experience to help drive your person college experience and growth. Over time you'll find things that you're really passionate about and find what you like.

Also, don't be afraid to reach out to people and try any new experience. The more opportunities you're exposed to the more likely you are to find something you really like and meet people you otherwise wouldn't have been friends with!

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Wael’s Answer

There is no need to be nervous. It isn't a big deal! The only difference is that there isn't someone to tell you what to do. If you are responsible and good planner you are going to be fine. Lastly, always remember that you are in college/university to have an education and graduate with the best possible academic standing.

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Kelsey B.’s Answer

I think the hardest thing for me was that there was no longer someone (my mom) asking if I had done all my homework or studied for my upcoming exams. I had to learn to manage my time on my own (Get a planner!! It really is worth it!) and make sure I had plenty of time to study and to have fun. Because having fun is part of the college experience - go out on Friday night (even if you're not the party type). Go hiking with friends, or to a movie on a Wednesday just because...

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Simeon’s Answer

The hardest part is being 100% in control of your own time and having to figure out what to do with it. You can socialize, join clubs, study, work on your career future, explore off campus, visit your family, or go to university functions and events. The freedom can be pretty overwhelming at first, so don't worry if it all seems too much. Take advantage of these years to expand your horizons and try out things you didn't even think you were good at. I picked up ballroom dancing and tabletop RPG games during university years and they're some of my favorite activities to this day!

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Glenn’s Answer

The balance of independence and responsibility. You are on your own- which is great and can be liberating...BUT you also have to be able to manage your time and be proactive because no one is there to check up on you. This is all part of transitioning to adulthood- knowing when you need to focus on school and when to focus on fun, friends, etc.
There also might be some home sickness. It's easy to want to go back to the comforts of home- esp. if the transition isn't smooth- but if you can make it through the first term, you'll be fine. Just understand that it's normal in any major life transition - and that's what this is. The main thing to keep in mind is that you're not alone- there are a campus full of students going through the same adjustments. Plus there are support staff-RA's, counselors, etc. who are there if you need help. Best of luck!

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Rachel’s Answer

You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>