Going to college for the first time is an exciting experience, but it can also cause a lot of anxiety for incoming freshmen. It can be difficult trying to navigate an entirely new environment, but there are ways to make that transition go more smoothly. Check out these tips to start turning your new college into your new home:

  • Step outside your comfort zone: It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to settling into your new environment. The truth is, the most important thing that you can do is to go beyond your usual comfort zone. You’re in a new place, which is the perfect time for a fresh start. Go to some start of the year festivities, or knock on your neighbors’ door and introduce yourself. Get to know your roommate a little better. Get out on your new campus and see what your new environment has to offer. There’s life outside your dorm room. Go find it!
  • Be open to new opportunities: One of the great things about entering a new situation is that you have the freedom to try things that you’ve never done before. Keep your eyes open for clubs, jobs, internships, and volunteer work that you may not have considered in high school. There is no need to change yourself into a completely different person, but adding new experiences will add positive change to your life and bring new people your way.
  • Find your support system: Finding your support system consists of multiple parts. First, you’ll need to make some new friends at school, even if you already have a friend group at college with you. You can meet people in your dorm, at your job, in clubs, in a fraternity/sorority, and more. Most clubs are recruiting during the first couple weeks of school (and a lot of them are offering free food!), so this would be a great time to check some of them out. It is also important to find caring adults who will be part of your support system. This can be a professor, advisor, work supervisor, mentor, or any combination of these. Adults can help open up professional opportunities for you and also provide resources if you need assistance during college.
  • Adjusting takes time: Adjusting to any new situation takes time. Your first couple months of college will be all about planting seeds for a good life in your new environment: seeds of academic success, seeds of new relationships, and seeds of the person you want to become. It may feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort for nothing at first, but eventually you will see the fruit of your labor. Keep trying and keep putting yourself out there, and eventually your campus will feel like a second home.

Starting college is not easy, but it can be an unforgettable experience. New freshmen, what about college are you most excited about? Upperclassmen, what advice do you have for freshmen on adjusting to college life? Leave your answers below!