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First year students must adapt to an unfamiliar environment, adjust to different living arrangements, and develop new relationships. Living with roommates may be the first ‘test freshmen experience. Students face the challenge of adjusting to roommates who may have very different boundaries and individual needs than family and friends from home. Roommates may or may not develop close friendships, but communication and compromise can build a smoother transition. College brings a unique opportunity to interact and live with students from various backgrounds and cultures.

Expanding your worldview by learning about each there differences and similarities will likely enhance your college experience. Greater personal freedom. Living on your own for the first time means that you will gain independence and take charge of the many choices and decisions that your parents and teachers made for you in the past. While this new found freedom can be exciting, it may also feel overwhelming and less predictable than what you are accustomed to. The freedom to manage your daily life is a learning process, but one that can be very satisfying. ; Added responsibility.

First-year students must manage the important daily susceptibilities that accompany their increased personal freedom. Students must manage basic tasks such as eating, sleeping, exercising, and going to class. New students must also address more complex responsibilities such as balancing studying and socializing, participating in clubs and activities, and handling finances. Managing time is a demand that all first-year students experience. A typical day in college is less structured than high school, and there is more reading and studying that is required outside of class.

Some students may feel as if they have no free time to do anything but schoolwork, hill others feel like they have too much free time outside Of the classroom. ; Changing relationships. While there are many changes occurring in your new campus life, there will also be changes in your relationships. New students often face challenges such as best friends going to other universities, beginning new romantic relationships or maintaining existing ones, and juggling newly formed relationships with already established ones.

Students must balance a sense of connectedness and separation while at college. Some freshmen feel the need to call or e-mail home several times a week in he first few months away, while others require less frequent communication with their family and friends. Common Stresses The first year of college is a new and exciting adventure, but one that may come with a few challenges along the way. What are some of the most common stresses that first-year students experience? Time Management.

Now that you are in college, there are no more eight hour school days like those in many high schools. You may have class for SIX, three, or even zero hours a day. The rest of your time must be negotiated between homework, clubs and activities, work, socializing, and self-care. College students often feel as if there is just not enough time to do everything that needs to be done. Using a schedule and some organizational skills will help you to effectively manage your hectic and changing life. Academic Performance.

By nature, college coursework is challenging, and it can be hard to keep up with the increased academic demands. Some students undergo pressure from both themselves and their parents. There may be requirements for scholarships and graduate school admission that you have not previously experienced. In order to manage the increased emends and expectations, it is important to attend class regularly, keep up with readings and assignments, and ask for help when you need it. Professors and teaching assistants are there to assist you, and want you to succeed.

If you need additional help, various organizations on campus offer tutoring services, many of which are free. Alpha Lambda Delta: Freshman Honor Society, Office of Minority Student Affairs, and University Residence Halls Academic Assistance are a few such services that offer tutoring at no cost. Roommate Conflict. Learning to live with someone new can be one of the cost challenging aspects of going to college. Different living habits are the most common source of roommate conflict (I. E. Neat vs.. Messy; quiet vs.. Noisy; early-to-bed vs.. Up-all-night).

Failure to communicate your expectations about living together can lead to tension and eventually conflict. To avoid “roommate fallout’ you should communicate your needs and expectations respectfully, while recognizing your own habits and quirks that might affect your relationship. If conflict does escalate you should take it to a Resident Advisor, Resident Director, or a Counselor to determine a course of action. Long Distance Dating Relationships. It is not uncommon for first-year students to begin college in a long distance dating relationship.

Where at one time this relationship may have helped you cope with everyday stress, it could now be a source of distress due to the distance between you and your partner. Uncertainty in what the future holds for the relationship is one of the most common stresses experienced by college students in long distance dating relationships. There are a few key efforts that each partner can make to lessen the sting of separation. Verbal communication, openness, and assurance of one another can reduce stress associated with being separated.

It is also essential for each partner to seek social support from others and remain active in their individual lives while apart. Body Image. Many college students also struggle with body image. Our culture pays a great deal of attention to the appearance of our bodies, particularly during young adulthood. Media representations of the ideal body, messages from peers, and other cultural factors shape what We perceive as “normal” or “good”. It can be difficult to have a clear, healthy perspective on ourselves and our bodies when our culture sends so many confusing, conflicting and sometimes unhealthy messages.

This can be stressful at a time when many are trying to ‘fit in” with others and make new, exciting relationships. If you find yourself preoccupied with how you look or become distressed about your body, discussing your concerns and ideas with someone can be extremely helpful in creating developing, and maintaining a body image that is healthful and fulfilling. Recommendations for First-Year College Students What Steps can you take to have a great first year Of college? Be patient. While campus may seem new and overwhelming for new students, it becomes more familiar with time.

Refer to the many resources available to assist you in navigating your surroundings. Maps, your R. A. , upper-level students, and the university Website are all useful tools to get you through the initial transition to campus. ; Connect with other students. If you talk to other students, you are likely to discover that they share similar questions and concerns. Your R. A. Is an excellent person to go to when issues arise. She or he is equipped to help you solve problems and refer you to appropriate resources. ; Get involved.

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