Certain times of the year tend to be universally challenging for students. Parents who understand the ups and downs of the first college year are better able to help their student negotiate the transition to college life. Below are some typical adjustment issues.
Upon arrival, many students enjoy a “honeymoon” period where the newness and excitement of the environment leads to initial
strong positive feelings about college life. They begin testing new freedoms.
After a few weeks, students realize college is not all glamour and fun – there is, in fact, hard work, especially with Colorado College’s block plan calendar. Frustration and even disappointment may surface. Relationships may not pan out. Students may receive their first low grades. Some may experience homesickness. “Where can I be private here?”
After a couple of blocks, students may begin wondering if college life is better at another school. “Do I fit in here?” They also may experience first series of campus illness (flu, cold, etc.)
The first visit home can be traumatic. Life at home has gone on without them. First-year students learn they, in fact, have changed. Because of this, their relationships with family and high school friends may be different from what they remember.
Deeper into the semester, students refine their study skills, join clubs and other student organizations, and start expanding their circle of friends. It is often at this stage that true intellectual fulfillment begins and meaningful relationships with classmates and faculty develop.
No matter how well students have been doing academically and socially, they may experience anxiety as the first year starts to wind down.
Sometime during this stage, students begin to view college as a total experience. They come to see that classes, informal dining hall discussion, parties and other elements of their college life are actually related and part of a cohesive whole. They come to understand that the choices and commitments they make have a tremendous impact on their college experience.
Lists and tips compiled by administrators working at colleges and universities nationwide.