Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transitioning to College

 As an active member on the class of 2016 Facebook page, I'm seeing that everyone is excited about the Fall! It's still hard to believe that my first year is over, but I'm looking forward to meeting the incoming class and starting off my second year. Granted that my first year flew by quickly, I still remember everything I felt when moving in the first day. Transitioning to college is a huge huge change that is exciting and scary at the same time. Before going into college, I knew it was already going to be different from high school for a lot of reasons: different class schedules, living with a roommate, no parents around, flexible dining hall hours, etc. Since it was a whole new lifestyle for me, I initially thought I was going to struggle a lot with transitioning from home to college. That turned out to be true for the first couple of weeks of school. I had trouble from being away from home and that led to the natural homesickness most students feel their first year. At first I was afraid the feeling of homesickness was never going to pass, but to my surprise, it faded quickly.

Homesickness is one of the many things that incoming freshmen worry about when leaving their home and entering college. For me, staying busy at school with work and hanging out with people helped the most to avoid feeling homesick. It took my mind off from thinking about how I missed my friends and family. I remember how in the beginning of the year I had a bundle of mixed emotions. I was excited about having a sense of sudden freedom, but at the same time, it felt really weird to go from seeing and talking to my parents everyday to talking to them here and there.

That being said, calling your parents is an okay thing to do. If anything, your parents want to hear all about your new classes, new friends, and new experiences. I called my parents almost every day the first couple of weeks of school to let them know how I was doing. After a while, I noticed that the busier I got with my school and social life, the less phone calls were made. Instead of the phone calls, texts from each other were another form of communication that seemed to be more convenient for both of us with our busy schedules. My parents understood my reasons because it's just a part of transitioning from home to college. You start to grow a sense of independence while being away from home.

Orientation week is where the whole experience starts. What I found was most helpful throughout orientation week was just being open to introduce yourself. Most of the conversations seemed to start out with, "What's your name?" "Where are you from?" Being that person who lives 40 or so minutes from Boston worked well in my favor because most New Englander's know where it is (see this funny interpretation of it for fans of The Office here). It's something that started up the conversation and led it to finding out what similar things I had in common with people. The first day of orientation you'll be able to tell by that orientation week is full of icebreakers to make you feel comfortable. I mean, you'll see a bunch of orientation leaders shouting your name and hear them blowing whistles. Finding people who have similar interests will help you stay in your comfort zone and branching out will help you feel ready to join different clubs and organizations to make the transition easier.

any questions on transitioning to college or anything else? tweet or formspring :)

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