The Daunting Fears of Freshmen

Ways of Overcoming the Common Conflicts

Daunting FearsAs any college freshman knows, college can be an intimidating and frightening experience, and there are many common fears that cross one’s mind.

Will my roommate and I get along? How will I meet new people and make friends? Can I handle the heavy workload? Will I feel homesick?

Nervousness about college and the new beginnings it brings is normal. College is an adjustment, and those fears don’t go away overnight.

In order to lessen the anxiety often felt throughout the first few weeks and sometimes even months of school, all freshmen should know what the most common fears are, as well as how to overcome them.

Roommate concerns are a very common apprehension. Many students who go away to college will share a room with another person for the first time. With so many horror stories students often hear about roommate difficulties, it is only natural to be skeptical about sharing a room with a stranger for almost a year.

The best way to overcome roommate fears and to get along with your roommate is through communication and compromise. Conflicting personalities may sometimes end up as roommates.

In order to keep the peace and abstain from any heated arguments, roommates should constantly communicate and develop an agreement to refer back to should there be future disagreements.

College is said to be the time when life-long friendships are made and potential future spouses are found, but what isn’t explained is how or where to meet those people.

Meeting new people and making new friends can be a challenge when people are out of their element and forced into an environment that is foreign to them, leading many first-year students to fear whether or not they will make friends.

However, the most important thing freshmen tend to forget is the fact that many students are experiencing this particular concern because almost everyone is new to campus.

Meeting new people doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. By going to the different on-campus activities and simply smiling and introducing yourself to people, a common freshman fear can be overcome.

Another concern that fills the mind of many first-year students is the difficulty of college academics. One of the major differences between high school and college is the workload and the style in which it is assigned.

In high school, students are used to teachers giving an assignment, thoroughly reviewing how it should be done, and giving constant reminders about the assignment’s due date until it is time to hand it in.

On the other hand, the college system puts more responsibility on the student. Students are now expected to handle everything on their own and manage their time efficiently, many of whom can’t handle the pressure and slip through the cracks.

Handling the pressure that accompanies college success worries many first-year students, but the answer to this fear is simple: ask for help.

There are plenty of resources available on-campus that can help students with any problems they may have, but students have to be willing to reach out and ask for them.

Even the strongest writers in high school may find themselves making numerous trips to the Writing Center, only to learn that there are some improvements that could be made upon their skills.

Those who were used to being in the top five percent of their Advanced Placement calculus classes in high school eventually learn the names of everyone in the Math Learning Center after constant visits. The resources are there for students to take advantage of and use whenever they need it.

Homesickness is a normal feeling felt by anyone who leaves home for a long period of time. As one who can personally attest to homesickness, I know what it feels like to have the nagging feeling of wanting to go home and questioning whether or not living on-campus was the best decision.

To combat these feelings of loneliness, students should get involved in activities they are passionate about. When you are busy with activities and are constantly on the go, the mind then becomes too preoccupied with checklists and memos.

Students often find that they either no longer have the time to miss home, or they have become so acclimatized to college life that their campus has become their home.

All of the fears that consume the mind of the average college freshman relate to one major issue: balance. Students who are able to balance the many things going on in their lives soon realize that there was nothing for them to worry about in the first place.

These are the students who are able to solve their issues with their roommates without having to go to their RAs, make new friends, and develop a social life while staying on top of school work. With every new beginning comes fears and concerns, but with the right plan and strategy, any first-year student can learn to cope with the pressures of being at college and away from home for the first time.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University