If you can answer, “yes” to this question, take heart. You are not alone. As the date for departure to college grows nearer, many new college freshmen begin to wonder if they made the right college choice. As with any major change we face, there is always some anxiety about what the future will hold. That’s perfectly normal. You may be moving far from friends and family, so that’s bound to be a little scary. The important thing is to try to keep things in perspective and not let your fears keep you from taking this next step. Here are a few things you can do to help ease your anxiety, while also determining whether or not there’s a good reason to question your college choice.
- Identify the source of your concern. Are you feeling anxious about the academics or social life? How about your finances? Or are you sad or nervous about leaving your friends and family? Once you figure out exactly what’s causing you to second guess your college choice, it’s easier to decide which steps to take next.
- Address the issue.
- Academic concerns – If you know you have challenges in certain subject areas, find out where you will be able to go on campus for help. You might also want to spend some time reviewing on your own or working with a tutor.
- Social concerns - Start building relationships with your roommate and future classmates by using the contact info you have to get in touch with them. If you live close to campus, stop by and see what’s going on, or just have lunch in the dining commons.
- Financial Concerns - If finances happen to be your major concern, be sure to talk to someone in the school’s financial aid office. They will be in the best position to help you figure out if your concerns are serious enough to mean that you really do need to make a different college choice.
- Friends and family – This is probably the most common source of anxiety for most students. Friends and family are often saddened or worried by the thought of being separated from you. Their emotions can definitely make you feel unsure about your college choice. You need to try to separate their concerns from your own and focus on the reasons you made this college choice in the first place. If you find that your friends are also second guessing themselves, encourage them to make contact with people at their new school and do your best to support each other through this. Be positive about the experience you are about to begin.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are about to do something you’ve never done before. No one can reasonably expect you to feel comfortable or confident about every aspect of this new experience. It’s okay to be a little unsure of yourself. In most cases, these feelings pass and you discover that the college choice you made was a good one. It just takes time, so do your best to be patient with yourself.
If you’re still having doubts, talk to an adult you trust about your concerns. They may be able to help you sort things out and see things from a different perspective. Good luck!