Image of student sitting in a chair in a residence hall room studying.

Adjusting To College

Take charge and make college the kind of experience you want it to be!

Congratulations! You have already achieved something that not everyone accomplishes. You have been accepted to college. This means you have already demonstrated that you have the skills and abilities needed to be here. Colleges set a high bar for acceptance because they want to make sure a student is ready for this challenge. You have already proven yourself, yet you might still be feeling nervous about starting this next step in your life.

If you are feeling anxiety about starting college, you are not alone. Even though you have proven you have what it takes to be a college student, you will still be facing new challenges that will give you the opportunity to continue to grow.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your college experience.

Be Prepared To Spend More Time Studying Between Classes

Some people found that they did not need to study a lot in order to make high grades in high school. When they get to college, they expect that they will naturally continue to do well on tests and papers without spending much time on homework. When they don't do well on their tests, they might start questioning their intelligence and whether they should be in college. The answer is usually that they are in the right place, but that they actually now need to do what their advisors tell them to do - they need to study 3 hours per week for each hour they are in class.

If this happens for you, just remember, it is usually not an intelligence issue, but a study issue. It's time to make a study schedule and stick to it.

Manage Your Time So That You Also Have Time For Fun

Since high school usually has a rigid schedule for you to follow, college might be the first time you have to manage your time on your own. The freedom can be overwhelming. It can be easy to hit the snooze button too many times and miss a class since the professor will not be calling your family to find out why you weren't in class. It can be easy to put off studying with good intentions of studying later. These are common mistakes that some students make until the panic sets in and they receive the early warning letters that they may not be passing some of their classes.

Make a schedule of when you will study each week. Pay attention to how well it works for you so that you can modify it the following week if you find that you study best at certain times or in certain locations. Schedule time for fun after your study time. That way, you can relax without feeling guilty.

Get Involved

In high school, you might have found it easier to meet people because you had the same classes with each other every day. In college, you will usually find that you need to be more proactive about meeting people. College can seem very big at first and it will help if you find smaller groups to belong to. This can mean finding people from your residence hall to go eat with, trying out different clubs until you find a couple that fit your interests, and creating study groups.

More students than you might realize wish they had more friends on campus. More people than you may realize report feeling some social anxiety that can make it difficult to take that step to get to know people. Simply saying hello to other students might mean more to them than you realize. It also might be the first step in gaining a new friend, too.

It takes some time in order for friendships to develop. Plan to spend more time on campus so that you have the opportunity to get to know people.

Use The Resources That UWF Has Created For You

  • Use the Writing Lab or the Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics Lab if you have any difficulty in these areas.
  • Talk to Undergraduate Advising if you are not in a major that inspires you.
  • Identify several student organizations that you plan to investigate in order to find which are the best fit for you.
  • Talk with a counselor if you need help working through this normal developmental step of transitioning to being a college student. Many students use this free service that UWF has available for you. Many only need a few sessions in order to get through this hurdle of being a new student. We, at Counseling & Psychological Services, are here for you.

Congratulations on your transition to UWF!

We're glad you are here.