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College Life: Conquering Your Fresher Fears

By Ekaterina Tikhoniouk

Did I choose the right college and the right course? Should I move out, or travel up every day? And if I move, where will I live? Do we have the money? The  start of September is often a hectic time for current school-leavers. There are many things that need to be done, from finding a place to live during the academic year, to buying all the needed books, supplies, notebooks and extra clothes, to actually moving out of your family home.

It can all become quite overwhelming. So, while the bulk of college-students-to-be are counting down the days left until orientation week, others may be having niggling doubts or anxieties about different aspects of starting college.

With the first day of college just around the corner, the main concern seems to be- Are my friends going to the same college as me? Many freshers are worried that they won’t know anyone there and will find it very hard to make friends.

But what these people don’t seem to realise is that, in the first few weeks of college, almost everyone will be in the same position as them. Virtually no-one will know anyone else, and everyone will be looking to make friends. If a few of your friends or acquaintances do end up going to the same college as you, that’s great- as long as you don’t end up hanging around solely with them, and no-one new. The whole point of the college experience is to meet new people and make new friends.

So try not to be too shy- strike up conversations with everyone you meet. Like that guy in the library who always smiles at you, or the girl you bump into every evening at the doors to the residences. All it takes is a simple “Hi, how are you?” to begin a conversation and, often, a lasting friendship.

College makes it very easy to meet new people. You can meet people through academic activities such as lectures and tutorials, as well as through the many different groups and societies that your college has to offer. Want to learn to juggle, or dance like a hip-hop star? Don’t be afraid, and join all the societies that interest you. Societies are a great and easy way to meet young people with similar interests to you.

Another common problem college-goers experience when starting college, or even starting back after a whole summer spent at home, is home-sickness. Of course you will miss your family and friends from home, but don’t despair. You’ll still be able to keep in touch with them though the phone and Facebook, and unless you live very far away from your college, you’ll be able to come home to see them every weekend.

Moving from secondary school to college is a tremendous leap that often involves moving to a strange house in a strange city, often with people you barely even know, so it’s natural to feel a little apprehensive at first. The important thing is not to panic or instantly decide you don’t like it there, but rather give yourself a few weeks to settle in.

No matter what worries you have about starting college, you should certainly still be excited! College is well-known for the great social life it brings. Think of the clubs, the themed parties, the uproarious conversations with random strangers, the crazy dares…. no wonder college years are called the best years of our lives! But don’t take my word for it- you’ll soon find out for yourselves!

And for more tips and info on making that transition to college check out Starting college

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