Nothing beats the pride, energy, drive, and focus of being an incoming college freshman. The future is ripe with opportunity, both to learn in your craft and become a professional. But as you soon find out once you meet and interact with your studies and with other students on campus, college ain’t easy.
The battle for a top-notch college performance only begins at running up and down lecture halls and cold library floors. The mental challenge that is keeping up with yourself, keeping up with your classes, and keeping up with the rest of the pack is where the real fight is. But you won’t win this battle to stay sane and keep focused through sheer luck alone.
This article provides 7 mental health hacks that should help every incoming freshman psychologically prepare for the transition.
1. Gaining Admission into College Is Only the First Step
You finally made it into that dream school and into the course that you always wanted to study. Congratulations! Now the real work starts. College professors and lecturers are much tougher than the high school teachers you might be used to. But not in the harsh “I’m going to suspend you” sort of way. It’s more of the “if you mess up, you carry your own cross” harsh.
College professors expect you to keep up. Once information and dates have been provided, you will rarely get reminders. They won’t have the slightest qualms about flunking you, and that goes into your eternal grade. Be prepared to seek your professor out like a prized mule.
2. Everything Doesn’t Start and End with You
There are always traces of high school narcissism as students make the transition into college. Be ready to compromise in everything. For most students, this is their first time away from home and living with a total stranger.
Dorm rooms are far from lavish spaces. There are limited resources, especially space, which is a red line for most young folks. Sitting down and reaching compromises is the only way you’ll get by without coming off as a total jerk.
3. Expect Tough Competition
That competitive spirit, especially when half a class is valedictorian or somewhere in the top percentile, is bound to get some heads butting. Even so, college is tough, and you might likely not perform as well as you did in high school. That’s competition against yourself. Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and keep your eyes on the prize.
With enough hard work and smart reading, you’ll likely be at or above average as follows statistical laws. And don’t beat yourself up if you don’t hit your target.
4. You Will Be Held Accountable for Your Actions
There is always a tendency for college students to be particularly rambunctious, especially when high on sports festivities or other adult indulgences. Once you reach 18, you are a legal entity, which is just another way of saying you can be jailed with no hesitation.
Freshmen carry a lot of the weight of new responsibility around. Under false influences, they may act out their frustrations by getting into fights, gaming too much, or losing their focus from school.
Remember what took you to school in the first place. Write it as a memorial on your mind every morning when you wake up, and you will find your way.
5. Always Keep a Planner
One of the lessons every adult eventually learns is that a watch is just a timepiece. It might suffice for short term goals. For longer periods, however, say a semester or year, a college planner is essential.
When it comes to college planning tools, there is something for everyone. You can go for apps such as Trello, Google Calendar, and My Study Life. Or you can have an actual physical planner that you fill out at the start of each week or month and carry around.
6. There Is No Harm in Asking for Help
It’s not unusual to find some college students taking as many as 20-course units per year. As you move from freshman to final year, the coursework reduces while the difficulty increases. You may eventually get burned out even with the best planning and time management skills. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help, whether from friends or professional essay writing services for example.
7. Make a Budget and Live Within Your Means
Money may be the main reason why college freshmen lose their wits. As you soon discover, life is pretty expensive, and the freshman experience, especially with little to no parental support, is baptism by fire. Talk with your guardian about finances before leaving home, maximize summer jobs, and scrape every penny you can because you will need it.
Conclusion? If Others Made It, You Can Too
Just remember that comrades abound everywhere in the world, and the college experience has more ups than downs. The relationships you’ll create, the friends you make, and the lessons that you’ll learn will all be by design, to transform you into a better person. Use these mental health hacks as you transition into college, and your mental health will be top-notch!