Some people say college is the best time of one’s life. It’s a time of self-discovery, growth and exploration, and a lot of fun. But for many students, college can be stressful, frightening and intimidating. Depression is common among college students, especially freshmen, and sometimes there’s such thing as too much freedom. Here’s a look at how to cope.
Stay connected. Most schools assign roommates to incoming freshmen, and getting a single room isn’t easy. There’s a reason for this. Schools know adjusting to college life can be hard, and having a roommate makes it more difficult to isolate oneself, something that many of us do when we’re stressed or depressed. It’s important to stay connected with your friends, peers, and family. Call and email far away friends and family regularly, join study groups and on-campus activities, and keep yourself busy. You’ll make friends and adjust a lot easier.
Be frugal. Money worries can be overwhelming. To ease the stress, learn to be frugal with your money and make it stretch. Avoid the temptation to eat out or order in regularly, and when you go out on weekends, take only a set amount of cash with you. Leave your debit and credit cards at home to keep from drunken overspending. At the end of each semester, sell your books to get some spare cash (if you’re wondering “where can I sell my old textbooks? Check out your college library and Google) and use Skype to keep your phone bill low.
Ask for help. Sometimes the adjustment is just too much, and it’s okay to get help. If you’re having trouble with a class, speak to your professor or look for tutoring help on campus. If you find yourself overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, reach out to the campus counseling service. They can give you someone to talk to and even connect you with online or on-campus support groups that might be helpful.
College can be an amazing experience, but if you need help adjusting, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Almost all schools offer support services and truly want to help make your 4 years with them the time of your life.