We spoke to the people at ReachOut about their advice for those who are beginning to embark on their college journey.
Well done, you made it! Even if it’s not your first choice but you’re heading off to college, congratulate yourself on getting to this point, it took a lot of work.
Apart from the stress of finding accommodation if you’re moving away for college, actually living outside of your home for the first time is a big deal and takes a lot of getting used to. Learning to manage a budget, for everything, is tricky. The importance of eating well cannot be underestimated, for both your physical and mental health, so living on Maggi noodles to save money will not help you in the long run. There are loads of websites dedicated to healthy eating on a budget so inform yourself as much as you can.
Getting quality sleep while at college can be a challenge in itself but is crucial for our wellbeing. So even if you're not used to your new roommates, try your best to get a few hours of good sleep a night.
Meeting new people
If you’re feeling anxious by the thoughts of having to meet new people, you’re not alone. Many students feel the same way. Sometimes, it can seem as if everyone else makes friends easily and is having a great time but this is not always the case. Give it time and don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure if you don’t have a group of friends within the first couple of weeks.
Join everything you’ve an interest in, or things you’ve never had to opportunity to try before, to meet new people and just flex some skills you may not know you had. If you never tried something in school, like drama or public speaking, it doesn’t mean you can’t now. Treat it college as a new start with an open and enthusiastic mind.
New timetables with a huge workload, and no one really checking if you turn up for lectures or not can be difficult to manage. Keeping on top of things as much as possible from the beginning will ensure a much more enjoyable time.
There are a whole host of people and services available to make your college experience as enjoyable as possible, wherever you go. There are Students’ Unions and on-campus health clinics, so arm yourself with the knowledge of what you’re entitled to as a student.
College, while amazing, can be overwhelming so it’s important you know about the range of counselling services available should you need them.
You’ll breeze through some years and others could prove more challenging for any number of reasons. Recognising early on when we need this help and letting lecturers know when we’re struggling, can help.
Find out ways to support your mental health at college, and get the best out the experience at ReachOut.
Still here? Read next: What You Really Need To Know About Starting College