You just got accepted into college\university of your dreams. The first year of college can be a very exciting, yet challenging experience when you don’t have a clue what you are doing. This may be the first time that you may be leaving home for the first time and will be adjusting to a new life, responsibilities, relationships, roommates and freedoms. This is challenging time for new students who are trying to make these adjustments all at once. The parents can have a great impact on his or her adjustment and success.
Accept your changing role as a parent. You must be prepared to listen and address concerns like “I want to come home” or “I am not well” or “I don’t like my roommate” or “this professor doesn’t like me,” or “I want to do something else.” These are common first-year students’ statements and parents should be supportive while allowing their teen to take proper steps towards adulthood and independence. Your new role is likely to be that of a mentor, providing support, encouragement, advice, and guidance, without the control you once had. This is another stage of life, and your role as a parent does not stop—it just changes. Your teen needs empowerment which means to provide students with the skills and resources needed to make responsible decisions. This is most important when the teen is insecure and needs guidance and emotional support.
Your teen is questioning their identity, pushing boundaries, and experimenting with new things. Experimenting may include challenging previous beliefs about religion or politics, experimenting with alcohol/drugs or sexual activity, and challenging social norms. Listen to your teens concern and be reassuring. Don’t tell your student that these are the best years of their life. Be prepared for the “dump” phone call late at night. Students need to vent frustrations or fears, and you will be the dumping ground. Recognize that having feelings is normal, as is the tendency to vent the feelings to a parent. In most cases, your student will feel much better after having vented to you, but you are left feeling worried.
It is common for first-year students to experience intense periods of homesickness during the initial months. Parents can help by listening to their teen and validating his or her feelings, offering to come and visit their son or daughter and/or encouraging the teen to speak to staff member at Placio.
There is nothing to do here
First-year college students may have difficult time getting involved at first. Although students do have to take some initiative, opportunities to get involved are available at virtually every corner. If your student complains that he or she has nothing to do, please be patient in hearing him \ her out and ask them to find out about going to events or getting involved. Also speak to the residence housing staff staffs regularly for feedback. Please understand this is change from all that was familiar to you and now seek opportunities to interact with all as they are also in the same boat as you and insecure. They too are separated from friends, loved ones, and familiar surroundings. Learn skills that can help in class performance and this will also bring you confidence.
Academic anxiety is a problem for many first-year students. College coursework is very different and understand that your professors don’t want you to fail. Sure, professors are challenging, expect more from you, and won’t babysit you. With hundreds, sometimes thousands of students, they’re not going to keep track of your grade on every paper or exam, or remember your name or reach out to you if you’re in danger of failing or having trouble. You are expected to reach out and ask\seek for help. Common anxieties among college students include time and priority management, assignment pressures, surprise class tests and semester examinations. In a nut shell students are unsure of what to expect academically—the unknown workload and expectations from faculty.
When two residents live in close quarters, conflicts may arise. This happens because roommates fail to communicate their expectations. If your teen is having a problem with a roommate, encourage him or her to sit down and calmly discuss the situation with his or her roommate. If you feel the individuals involved need assistance resolving their conflict, refer them to the warden at Placio who can attempt to first resolve any conflicts with a roommate agreement. It is extremely beneficial for all roommates sit down together and discuss rules for the room at the very beginning of the year. This establishes parameters at the beginning of the year helping set the tone for the remainder of the year.
Safety and Security Tips
Living outside home may bring out the feeling safety even though this is a unique opportunity to live and learn among a wide variety of peers. In an effort to make this experience a positive one for students, Placio has taken steps to ensure that the need for safety and security is met. Even though we have taken precautionary steps, there are steps you should take, too. Developing simple habits from the moment you arrive here to avoid big problems and headaches in the future.
- Lock your doors and carry your keys whenever you are away from your room. Students should do this even if they are only going next door.
- Do not prop open any exterior doors, or allow them to be propped open.
- Keep a record of the serial numbers of computer, bike, etc. It is also helpful to keep pictures of these items. Students may also want to consider engraving these items with their initials or an identification number. Taking these steps can be of great help in identifying stolen valuables.
- Protect items such as credit and ATM cards. See to it that your PIN code is not written on either of these cards. Without this code, an ATM card is worthless to a thief.
- Report Theft. If, by some unfortunate circumstance, you should have some of your valuables stolen, you can still take action. The first thing you should do is tell your warden who can then take the necessary steps. The incident will then be in on record with Placio.
The aforementioned steps will greatly reduce the chances of you being victimized. While this is true, it is important to remember that these measures, which can be effective deterrents to crime, will only work if you take the initiative and responsibility to put them into practice.
Dealing with Loneliness and Depression
You may feel sad, depressed, or lonely. If you experience a sense of social disconnection, seek help right away by speaking to staff at Placio. If you feel like you have tried everything and still feel lonely, call your parents or an old friend from home and tell them what you’re feeling. It’s entirely possible that they help you turn things around. No matter how alone you feel, remember that so other students feeling just how you feel right now.
The first year is tough but rewarding. One of the best things about college is that it’s a fresh start for everyone — a new opportunity to set yourself apart from other students. Enjoy, chill and excel.