Adjusting to college life can be a daunting task. For many, it means living away from home for the first time. Even for those who have some experience living on their own, dorm life can be a real eye-opener. Thankfully, however, there are some things you can do to make the transition smooth and enjoyable.
1. The first and most important thing to do when you get to campus (after you unpack) is to get involved in activities. For some, it can be tempting to stay in the room, but the best way to beat homesickness and make the academic adjustment is to find people you can count on – as friends and study buddies. Not only are there lots of other people who are trying to make the same adjustment you are, there are a lot of people who still remember what it was like, and are more than glad to help.
2. Bring lots of quarters. Collect them like a maniac, in fact. Because more quarters means more loads of laundry, which means more clean sheets, and fewer weeks on the “I’ll just wash my underwear” policy. This will prove very useful when attempting to follow rule number one.
3. Don’t be afraid to speak to professors outside class about questions and concerns. This isn’t high school – most professors genuinely care about your success and genuinely enjoy talking to their students. So before you write off a poor grade or a difficult subject as your professor’s hatred for you – remember that they’re the ones who make up the tests and who, therefore, know the best way to study for them. But you’re the only one who knows whether you’re really struggling unless you tell someone.
4. Don’t panic. Not only have these words made The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy the number one selling book in the universe, but they have also saved many a college student’s life. Is your roommate getting on your nerves? Don’t panic. Do you have three papers and an exam in the same week? Don’t panic. Many a tense situation has been defused by keeping a cool head, and you can’t pull an all-nighter if you’re having a mental breakdown. If the situation is serious, there are counselors on campus available to help out with this one.
5. Procrastinate (a little). You know how Hermione Granger punches Draco Malfoy in the third Harry Potter? That’s called catharsis. But rather than letting all the stress and pressure of schoolwork build up until you go punching people, spend time not doing schoolwork. Go to the Gryphon. Hang out in Philly. Watch a soccer game. Or enjoy the Eden-esque serenity of Eastern’s all-but abandoned campus on a weekend. Oh yeah, and you can go to church, too.