Making the transition from high school to college can be a difficult time for teens or young adults that are finally learning to live independently. The pressures of being an adult on your own and dealing with the stress of school work can be a lot to handle in the first year of attending college.
There is a lot to learn in and out of the classroom for most young people and they may fall into bad habits or make mistakes. Being prepared and looking for guidance from family and friends can make the shift into college a smoother experience. These are some tips for college students trying to survive their freshman year.
1. Manage Your Budget
College is the probably the first time for many young adults that they will need to handle their own finances. Outside of some extra cash summer jobs most 18 year olds are not familiar with earning and controlling their own financial situation.
In this period of time it is important to become conscious of spending habits and create a budget. Writing down everything you spend and how much income you have coming in will help you balance your account and prevent any financial problems.
2. Fight the Freshman 15
During the first year of college, it is common for people to gain what is known as the "freshman 15" or an extra 15 pounds due to stress eating and the freedom to eat whatever they want without their parents around to minimize junk food. This doesn't have to be the case if you take the time to start learning how to make healthy choices, cook your own meals and not let your cravings get out of control. College is the perfect time to become more familiar with strategies on how to be health-conscious and stay fit.
3. Drink Responsibly
Although many of the students attending college parties are underage it is almost inevitable that they will begin drinking alcohol at some point. It may just be recreational but some students could start drinking to alleviate stress or take their alcohol binges too far.
In college it is important to be careful and minimize your drinking habits so that you don't develop a dependency or start to see alcohol affecting your school and personal life. For the safety of yourself and others it is also crucial not to drink and drive.
4. Find Positive Ways to Handle Stress
Since many freshman may turn to alcohol or stress eating, it is important in this period of time to search for ways to deal with stress that have no negative consequences. There are likely to be some very difficult times where stress seems overwhelming and engaging in a relaxing activity that can be beneficial like exercise, meditation, playing music or recreational sports will be the best solution to alleviate anxiety.
Finding a good outlet for stress can help freshman avoid more dangerous solutions like drugs or alcohol that could cause more problems in the end.
5. Seek Professional Help When You Need It
So many young adults deal with serious problems of depression or other difficulties that they can't handle on their own. There is nothing wrong with seeking the help of a professional if you are ever coping with something and you need someone to talk to.
Many campuses offer free therapy and counselors that can assist you in times of need. Even as a young person, problems with school or your personal life can become overwhelming and you may need the guidance of a professional therapist or counselor to give you helpful advice.