As you’ve been preparing to start college, you’ve likely been thinking of the ways — both good and bad — that it is going to be different than high school.
You’re going to be living in a new place with a roommate you probably don’t know. You’re going to be around all new people and have to make an entirely new group of friends.
Your parents aren’t going to be watching over your shoulder and nagging you to clean your room, but they also won’t be there to cook for you or do your laundry.
Stay excited about this new chapter in your life but prepare for the bumps ahead. Be realistic, there will be bumps. It’s how you prepare for them and tackle them that will make all the difference for you.
Honestly face your struggles.
No one wants to admit they need help. But everyone does need help at some time. Don’t bury your head in the sand and think any past challenges will magically disappear when you go to college. Find a trusted adult on campus, through a program perhaps, who you can be honest with about what is going on for you. It’s normal to not want to call your parents when you encounter what you view as your first failure in college. You may feel shame or embarrassment. When you share your struggles with someone you trust, you move from feeling hopeless to finding solutions.
Seek out and accept support.
When things start spiraling out of control for you, you’ll be glad you took these steps.
First contact the office of disabilities, (or Office of Student Success, a name Millikin University uses and I prefer). Find out resources they have available to support you.
Then find out what they specifically need from you to set-up those resources. They will NOT come find you.
Once you have these resources in place, USE THEM! If you are stuck and can’t bring yourself to use them, consider getting a coach to work through whatever is holding you back.
Persist, even when there is little evidence things could get better.
If you are using the supports and the relationships mentioned above it will be easier to take steps to continue when things get tough.
Whatever struggle you are facing there’s a solution or someone who can help. Let go of the “I don’t want to need help from anyone anymore” additude.
By using all resources at your disposal YOU are helping yourself. Tap into your desire not to quit.
Learn from your mistakes and struggles.
Use your challenges as learning experiences. Don’t ruminate about what went wrong. Reframe your “usual go to negative thinking” into positive choices.
If you made a decision that didn’t turn out the way you expected don’t beat yourself up and say it was a bad decision. Instead tell yourself you made the best decision you could at the time and give yourself permission to make a new decision now.
Were you uncomfortable reading any of that? That’s ok. It may be a sign it is an area you want to work on before heading off to college.