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What is some advice to a new college student who has never lived alone?

I'm about to go off to college and it's very scary to think I'll be in an unfamiliar place all by myself. #college-student #college-bound

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jim’s Answer

What a big step this is. For one, you should be very proud to start this chapter in your life. It can be a tough adjustment. Take a lot of home with you. Maybe some pictures from your bedroom walls. Favorite blankets and pillows. Anything that you think will help make it feel more like home. One thing to keep in mind is technology is on your side. Friends and family are much more easy to access than even a few years ago. Don't be afraid to reach out to them is you're feeling home sick, or just to chat. It's likely too that your school has support groups etc. for new students making the adjustment. Don't be afraid to check them out. You'll do great! Good luck!
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Doc’s Answer

New place. New roommates. New situations. Everything is different when you first get to college. A surefire approach to handling these changes is to be open-minded. Expect new changes and situations to take place regularly and be open to meeting new people and listening to different points of view. College isn't just about learning facts and theories from textbooks. A large part of college involves exploring new subjects, finding friends and meeting people from different backgrounds. Figuring out how to be successful in college doesn’t have to require a special skill set. You might be surprised to discover you already have many of the traits it takes to find student success in college. You might already have everything you need to start your college career on the right foot.

Understand that this time is precious, and you have such a source of vast knowledge literally at your fingertips. Going to class will ensure that you are getting the information you need (not to mention that’s what you will be paying for). Know you are capable of working incredibly hard. Never let anyone convince you otherwise. Take advantage of the opportunities living on a college campus affords you, even if it’s just learning from another student who’s better at something than you are or vice versa. Go to the tutoring centers if you need help. That is what they are there for, and you’re paying for it anyway. Put in the time, work really hard, be humble but confident, and you will achieve success. Also remember to appreciate how lucky you are right now to have been born in a place and time that allows you to simply have the opportunity to gain an education.

Good luck on your blossoming college journey Bethany

Doc recommends the following next steps:

BE ACTIVE – You might be in a new and strange place, but you're not alone. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class or talk to the people who live in your dorms. Don't stress about forming friendships right away, it will probably take some time before you find the right crowd for your personality and interests. In the meantime, enjoy meeting new people and get used to reaching out to others.
JOIN A GROUP – One way to make college feel more like home is to do some of the activities you enjoy or find clubs that meet your interests. College campuses are filled with student clubs and organizations, club sports teams and other groups, so chances are good you'll find one that fits your needs. Stop by the student services center for ideas or for a list of available organizations.
TIME-MANAGEMENT – It's easy to get carried away with all the extra-curricular activities available on campus, but don't forget that you also have to study. Review your syllabi or ask your instructor to find out the deadlines for assignments and exams in each of your courses then use an online (or paper) calendar or planner to keep track of those deadlines. Be sure to schedule in time to study, so that you don't wait until the last minute - a practice that doesn't work so well in college. You'll also want to block out time in your day for fun activities or free time, so you don't get too swamped with studying.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the things you need to get done in college, and you can get stressed out if you're doing too much and not leaving any time for yourself. Being overstressed or tired can lead to illness or exhaustion. Make sure you get enough sleep while you're in college, and try to schedule in time to relax or exercise.
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Emma’s Answer

Living alone can be scary for sure. If it is your first time living alone I would highly recommend living in the dorms if at all possible. It gives you a bit of independence while still living in a community.
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Ma. Edgie’s Answer

Hi Bethany! Congrats on your new chapter of life (college yey!)

Living alone especially when you are far from your family with a new place is both exciting and scary, and go along you'll be having a home sick feeling. Just wanna share some advice, that be humble and as Ryan's advice too, be open-minded. Make friends, it is important also that you will have circle of people that you can treat as your second family. Do not pressure your self, you might realize that you are doing something that you was never part of you routine before and you become more responsible and mature enough and now that you are living alone, trying to be independent enough I'm sure everything will turn out great for you. Make to do list, know your priorities go out and check out your neighborhood and be familiar, Just do not go out late and always make sure that if you do not feel safe at all trust your instincts, think twice.



All the best! I know you're going to be amazing! :)
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Dawnyale’s Answer

Congratulations! This is a huge milestone and I hope it leads to a wonderful life full of joy and opportunity. There were a few things I learned when I started college and when I moved out on my own (there were about 8 years in between the two for me, so you're off to a great start!).

1. Be safe. Always keep an eye on your surroundings on campus, at parties, in class and in the dorms. Don't be obsessive about it, but do keep in mind your safety is a top priority and should never be taken for granted. If studying away from the dorm late, let someone know where you are (family, friends, etc). Be selective about the social gatherings you attend and who you attend those gatherings with. And observe others before automatically starting to engage in close relationships, you learn more about people when they're acting as they normally would than you will when they want to impress you.

2. Remember why you're there. For some, it's important for them to graduate because they'll be the first in their family to do so. For others, they've always dreamt of a certain career field and were waiting to grow up to enter it. And for others, the act of learning and attaining knowledge is of the highest importance. Remembering your "why" will keep you motivated when it gets tough and will keep you focused when distractions occur. Have fun, but not so much that it becomes more alluring than reaching your goals. I can say with all confidence that the fun really began for me after college, when I knew who and what I was and had the education and experience to do what I wanted to do.

3. Your health is important. Taking jogs around campus, hitting the school gyms, or simply taking fitness classes are a great way to stay healthy and de-stress. You'll be tempted to snack a lot, but remember that foods low in nutrition have the ability to make you tired (keeping you from productive discussions and study sessions). Eating in class can be a huge distraction to those around you and pull your focus away if the snack is tasty :). Waiting all day to eat is also a recipe for disaster, as it may cause impaired reasoning and crankiness. Plan ahead by meal prepping for the week when possible and limiting junk food. Also, sleep whenever you can. There will likely be times in which you'll study until the early morning hours, but when it's possible to get 7-8 hours, please do so. You'll feel so much more rested and focused throughout the day.


All of these things are just lessons I learned along the way, but don't worry - you will figure it out. Try to keep a circle of motivated and inspiring people in your life who are invested in theirs and your success. The power of good, caring people in your life can have a profound effect on your future. Again, congratulations and good luck!
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Sam’s Answer

Leaving mom, dad, and siblings to go off to college and live on your own is definitely a significant life change! Whether you're living with roommates you've known previously, "going in blind" with roommates you've not met before, or living with no roommates; it is a challenging and exciting adjustment. You really need to keep an open mind toward meeting new people and toward the fact that your roommates aren't perfect and aren't just like you in every way.

First, regardless of roommate situation, be open to meeting as many new people as possible. Get out on your floor/hall and introduce yourself to neighbors and other nearby individuals. Attend dorm/floor/university events and meet new folks there. Also, during the day leave your dorm door open and others may walk by and introduce themselves. Many others are in the same boat as you; they want to meet new people and make friends as well. You'll meet a bunch of new people and as time goes by and things settle in, you'll figure out who really may become close friends of yours, who may merely be acquaintances, and who you may not be as interested in hanging out with going forward.

As for roommates, again you'll need to be tolerant of differing tendencies and idiosyncrasies of theirs, even some you may find annoying. Also, allow for them to meet new people and do their own thing from time to time, just as you'll likely want from them. This can be especially challenging with roommates you've known and been great friends with coming in.

In addition, it is natural to have short bouts of boredom early on, as you won't yet know how to fill every second of every day, especially before classes start. Coupled with this will be occasional episodes of homesickness. Be patient and give these things time. Resist the urge to go home frequently on weekends if proximity allows this option. Keep in touch with friends and family by all means, and visit them occasionally and have them visit you once in awhile when feasible. But do what you can to really commit to your new environment - decide that you'll enjoy it and you will! With time and effort, you'll soon be busy as can be with all sorts of fun and exciting people, classes and events.
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Lauryn’s Answer

Going off alone for the first time is scary. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable. For me it was staying busy and taking frequent trips home for the first year. After that I kinda drifted into my own and didn't need to make those trips. My best friend I met in college didn't have the ability to go home as often so she called almost daily. I made my own little family at college.
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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Bethany,

I think this pre-college anxiety is totally normal. When you get to school, most people are going through the same thing, and I found that helpful to remember. Being open-minded is definitely a good piece of advice. My freshman roommate and I couldn't have been more different and couldn't have come from more different backgrounds. Within a month we were really close, and then we eventually became best friends. He left our school after freshman year and we live 1,500 miles apart, but we're still best friends to this day. Point being, it's nerve-wracking but going into the experience with an open mind and excited to meet new people will give you the best chance to have a positive experience. You'll have some home-sick moments, and that is okay. Lean on the new friends you make and look at this as an opportunity for a new life experience.

Best of luck!

Ryan
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Katherine’s Answer

It is absolutely normal to feel that way. You are not alone! If you have the ability to live in a dorm, that is a great way to meet friends. Many of the students you will meet in a dorm are leaving home for the first time, living on their own as well. Change is scary, and having a network of students that are going through the same experience as you is helpful. You can lean on each other.
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Nikeya’s Answer

Hello Bethany! What an exciting time in your life. I can understand the apprehension and fear but just relax and relish in the comfort of knowing that you like many others are starting on this journey together. Rest assure you have this! Best wishes
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Bethany,

I did this when I went a way to college. I am unclear if you are planning to go to that location and be alone or if you will be living in a dorm. I would say that if you can, live in a dorm. That means that you will be with a group of people who are also most often far away from home. It is a natural support system in many ways. Back in my day, there was no social media, so I was not able to connect with the people in the dorm in advance. My nephew went to college four years ago and he was able to chat with several people in the dorms and even get to know his roommate well in advance of arriving. This can be an expensive way to go away to school, but it does not have to be for the entire time. I know many people who just did this for their freshmen year, long enough to become familiar with the area and make new friends. My nephew and his friends moved off campus and shared a house, which was much cheaper.

The other element of being away is to stay connected to home. If I had to do it over again, I would have done my first year of college at home. College is such a change on its own - choosing classes, managing class schedules and the heavy homework - that moving just doubles the stress. But if you want to go, which I can completely understand, make sure that you stay connected to home. Another thing is to continue to do things that you enjoyed back home - going to church, taking dance classes (or any other hobby), or volunteering. Stay connected to things that you love and find people who share those interests.

I hope that you have fun in college. Moving away from home made me grow up fast. While it was stressful, I feel like it was an important milestone in my life.
Gloria
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