Adjusting to College Life

Leaving for college marks a major transition in your life. For most students, going to college may be the first time living away from home. Beginning college means exploring a new place, making new friends, learning new things, and setting your own priorities.

Changes you may experience as you transition to college

Increased Personal Freedom 

Many students welcome the freedom to decide what they want to do each day. Others may find this freedom strangely difficult or unfamiliar. Even though most new students maintain frequent contact with their family by way of phone or computer, most are still making many more personal decisions and choices than they did in the past. 

Increased Responsibility 

With increased personal freedom comes greater responsibility for ones daily schedule. New students must find their own balance of studying, socializing with new acquaintances, becoming involved in activities, budgeting money, exercising, and making time to eat and sleep. What works for one person may not work for another. Some days may be unpredictable or full of obligations and this can be overwhelming. Some students may find their schedules manageable, but they may not feel comfortable relaxing in their free time. 

Changing Relationships 

As students make the transition to college, relationships with parents and other significant people change. First-year students may call home frequently during their first few months away. It may be hard to say goodbye at the end of holiday or semester breaks. Some students may be leaving significant others when they go to college which can cause strain on existing relationships. Towson may be a new place with new faces and making new relationships may be difficult for some people. These changes in relationships may create feelings of loneliness, sadness, or jealousy. 

We are here to help 

If you are struggling with the transition to college, there are some ways you may be able to help yourself adjust: 

  • Reach out to others in your housing - roommates, suitemates, RA's, etc.
  • Join campus organizations or clubs that interest you so you can meet and interact with others who share similar interests as you.
  • Give yourself time for self-care! Make time for breaks (rest), avoid the abuse of alcohol or other drugs, keep a manageable schedule, and plan to study in inviting atmospheres.
  • Recognize that some things (relationships, adjustment) can take time. Over time, your surroundings will become more familiar.
  • Seek out other resources on campus that can help you address problems and get academic and/or personal support.

Tips on how to adjust and make the best of your college experiences