Adjusting to College Life

This article provides potential college students with advice for managing time, money and stress. Read on to learn more about adjusting to college life.

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It is not uncommon for perfectly capable incoming freshmen to perform poorly in their classes. One of the most common reasons is the simple failure to manage time effectively. This pivotal first year is for many the first experience of freedom and the absence of many familiar boundaries. A student may become so caught up in attending parties or staying up late that they do not attend class, complete assignments, or study for tests. Learning to manage one's schedule, setting apart the appropriate time for both work and play, may improve one's overall performance. Investing in a student planner and making school the top priority may help.

New students can be expected to pay bills and rent, pay for food and school supplies, and fund their own entertainment for the first time ever. It's not uncommon for students to spend too much money eating out rather than cooking at home, then not have enough money left to pay the water bill. Most students benefit from a firm budget. It's a good idea to establish the budget before leaving home, with some help from mom and dad. It's not hard to estimate income and expenses and determine how much money will be left over for recreation.

It's difficult to juggle classes and assignments with work and friendships. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by difficult professors or seemingly endless projects or assignments. It's important for students to manage their stress in a healthy way. Depression, excessive drinking, and drug use are frequently unhealthy by-products of adjusting to college life. These activities do little to alleviate stress and most often end up exacerbating the situation. There are many healthy coping alternatives one should consider, such as regular exercise, scheduling time for relaxation, or talking to a friend or counselor when necessary. Managing one's time effectively, eating healthy and getting adequate sleep each night may help as well.

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