How to Handle College Transitions Part 1: For the Student

College Transitions can affect both parents and children. For the student, it’s tough to adapt to a new setting, new schedule, new people, and new life. It’s a complicated and delicate balance to attain.

The good news is that there are plenty of tips that both child and parents can do to handle college transitions as peacefully and as smoothly as possible. In this post, we’ll look at ways in which the college student can transition.

Understanding Stress

As students, you’ve experienced academic stress for the majority of your life, but when you enter college, sometimes these stressors can increase. Simply put: “Stress is the way your mind and body respond to demands from the surrounding environment.” In college, stressors can be meeting deadlines, making friends, managing your time wisely, living on your own, and being a new fish in an unfamiliar pond.

Stress manifests in numerous ways, depending on the individual. Some physiological examples of stress include loss of appetite, headaches, exhaustion, stomachaches; stress can also be negative thought patterns. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy and manageable ways to address and combat your stressors.

How to Own College Transitions

Although most material on the web is targeted for new college students, these tips are also helpful for students who may be entering a more stressful year or perhaps switching universities.

  1.       Organize your time.

Time management is the most important tip of all; it’s probably the hardest thing for college students to master. In high school, almost every second of your day was determined by forces outside your control. But in college, you have lots of free time and no routine.

A good way to help with time management is to purchase a planner to not only stay on top of your responsibilities and assignments but also structure your daily activities.

  1.       Set goals.

In college, you’ll find that many professors give a syllabus and it’s up to the student to remember the steps along the way. If you’re writing a paper and know the due date, set goals for when you want to have the research completed and the draft written so you’re not pulling an all-nighter and turning in a product that isn’t your best work.

  1.       Balance.

Students will balance socializing and getting involved on campus with tackling academic work. Don’t forget the importance of self-care (such as exercising and eating right) and mental and emotional health. This balance goes hand-in-hand with mastering your time management skills. When you plan your days, pencil in some time to de-stress and take care of yourself.

  1.       Don’t be afraid to seek help.

It’s okay to fail, and it’s okay to not be okay. However, it’s also important to remember that help exists. If you are really struggling with a class, seek out the professor during his office hours or the teaching assistant (if there is one); most colleges also offer tutoring centers. If you feel overwhelmed or just want to speak with someone, colleges offer counseling services.

  1.       Explore and learn.

Lastly, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options of clubs to join and classes to take. Remember that college is a time to explore and enjoy! Take a fun class in photography because you’ve always wanted to learn. Apply for internships that interest you. Explore the town or city that your college is in.

Your Next Steps

It’s my passion to be able to provide both students and parents with the tools needed to handle college transitions. I’m here to help whether you feel you need to process past experiences or talk about how to navigate present challenges.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to help you




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