How do I “grow” to college?
You can go away to college, but you can’t connect and be successful if you don’t “grow” away to college. There’s no single formula, because everyone is different, but here are some hints from other students:
“At first my mom called a lot. She wanted to know how I was doing and she got really worried when I wasn’t in my room or answering my phone. Finally we agreed that voice mail was fine for leaving messages. I call home about once a week to let them know how I am.”
“Try to avoid going home on weekends, especially during the first few weeks at college. It’s reassuring to be home, but it delays your full connection to college life. And I found it made me more homesick after each visit, instead of less.”
“Get involved in some activities, and then narrow down which ones are really fun or especially helpful. College isn’t like high school where you can do anything and everything, and still get good grades. I wish someone had told me about this.”
“I was a little hesitant to meet students that weren’t like me, so I looked for situations where everyone was meeting for the first time. I got better with practice. Now I’m pretty confident about meeting new people.”
“Expect discomfort and welcome it. If you aren’t feeling a little uncomfortable, you probably aren’t growing. I really made progress when I realized this.”
“My high school friends made it sound like their college experience was way more fun and easier than mine. It turned out they were only telling me the good stuff, because they didn’t want to admit they were having trouble too.”
Got a helpful tip that helped you grow during your first year or something that you wish you learned sooner? E-mail it to Dr. Kay Grimnes (firstname.lastname@example.org). It might just end up on the website!