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As you're gearing up to go you keep hearing people giving their sage advice - "College will the best years of your life" "enjoy it, it will be over before you know it" "I wish we could trade places right now!". In the meantime, you might be walking around with a lot of worries and concerns as college represents your biggest step/leap of faith yet - it is only natural to feel overwhelmed and nervous. While everyones situation is unique and there is no easy fix, it can sometimes be helpful to read about others experiences to get some wisdom that might be applicable to ones own situation.
Here are 6 tips on what you can do to adjust better to college life:
1. Budget - It may sound really dry and boring but the consequences of going broke are a lot worse. While some may be able to reach out to their parents for support, others might have to simply deal with it accordingly, and the last thing you need on top of all your newly acquired concerns is to be worrying about money for food and rent. For a lot of students, this will be the first time they get to manage their own spending, so do yourself a favor and make sure you aren't spending more than you can afford to. Writing a short list with weekly/monthly expenses will help you allocate your leisure fund in a more sensible manner.
2. Pack wisely - As this is likely the first time you're moving out to live on your own, you might be looking to bring every single thing that feels like "you" or "home" with you. This varies from person to person of course, but remember one thing: if you cram your small (because it most likely will be miniscule) room with your old things, where will you then put all the new memories that you'll be making? Leave space for future adventures!
3. Routines - No, mommy is not going to be there going "wakey wakey" with your breakfast being made anymore. If this is what you were used to, I've got some bad news for you. Now that you're in college, you've got to deal with meals and time like an adult. When you're just starting out, it is easy to be time optimistic - try to avoid that. Give yourself enough time to do whatever it is you have to do in the morning without being late. Find a rhythm that works for you, and stick to it.
4. Socialize - This may be a very tough task for some (myself included), as we are already dealing with enough uncertainty as is, why add to that by forcefully interacting with people we have never met before? It is of course a choice, but one that could make life a lot easier for you. Having a least one person that you can consult with your questions is very good to have, even if they are equally clueless because then you can find out together, and before you know it, you've made a friend! Even though it may seem like everyone has it together and know lots of people, I can assure you this is not the case. Everyone could do with a friendly in a new environment like this - go be that friendly face!
5. Managing expectations - This may seem difficult as you don't really know what to expect at first, but the antidote is to simply go in with a clear and open state of mind. Expect the unexpected, it is not going to be what you're used to, for better or worse, but enjoy the ride! Thinking of college as one long party or as a time where you will do nothing but study are two inaccurate reflections - there is a lot more to it, and it's up to each individual to find a balance that works.
6. Dealing with stress - College with indubitably be the cause of a lot stress, which as we all know only leads to negative outcomes. It is quite pointless to try and avoid stress, because there are too many variables that you can't even influence. The best course of action is therefore to take measures to deal with accordingly instead. These methods will work differently for each person of course, but a few known tricks include: getting enough sleep, eating regularly (and not only junk, as you might be tempted to doing, especially in the beginning - it is a very slippery slope), get enough fresh air, have de-stress activities (go for walks, runs, meet friends, etc.) where you can put all your responsibilities aside briefly and concentrate solely on yourself and your well-being.
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