How To Mentally Prepare Yourself For College

Starting a new school year as a varsity student can be very stressful for some. The laid back summer has come to an end and now it is time to put your head back in the study game. But it’s not only the new subjects and classes that is daunting, but it is also the change in schedules and new teachers, classmates, and environment that brings to light some anxiety, not to mention the fact that new regulations such as masks, sanitizing stations and social distancing will also form part of the new curriculum. Change is always scary, but if you prepare ahead, it is a lot easier to get into the swing of things without feeling like you are falling behind. 

If you are a bit anxious about the new semester, here are a few tips to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the year ahead. 

You Are Not The Only Freshman

There is no doubt that being the new kid on the block is going to attract some attention from the other students in college, however, the good news is that you are not going to be the only freshman on campus that year. There are hundreds of new admissions who are also facing such a drastic transition. It will feel a bit awkward at first as you are learning and still finding your feet, but as the year goes on, it will get easier and you will feel right at home with your new friends and the new routine.

Practice Time Management

One thing that you will come to realize about college is that there is no slowing down for anyone, which can cause an enormous amount of stress. Classes, assignments, and exams continue with or without you and you don’t want to get left behind at all. One of the ways to make life at college easier is to stay on top of all your tasks and assignments. This requires a lot of time management and determination. Before the summer is out, start practicing time management and learning new organization skills that you can implement in the new year. This can be done by using handy tools like a whiteboard for notes, a calendar, or digital apps that help with project management and keeping track of all outstanding tasks. 

Deal With Peer Pressure

Society has put a lot of pressure on us to fit the ‘mold’ and with social media ingraining itself so deep within our culture, it is almost impossible to escape it. It is only human nature to want to fit in, but it does not mean that you have to sacrifice your unique identity or values to do that. There are a lot of students who share the same interests and ideas as you and chances are, you will find each other. It is important to manage your expectations before entering the new year and reassure yourself that you can’t please everyone and that there are going to be some people that disagree with you. This does not define who you are, and when a situation like this does arise, it is helpful to let things be and find new friends who share the same mindset as you.

Set Goals That Are Realistic

SMART Goals in wood background - how to prepare yourself for college.

As soon as you receive the admission, it is an overwhelming feeling that gets you excited and motivated to tackle the new journey ahead, however, sometimes we can get a bit too excited. You want to aim high, but you don’t want to overdo it. Before entering the new year, set realistic academic and personal goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. Depending on your goals, it may require a heavier workload, but it should still be able to fit into your schedule without putting your health or mental health under pressure. Try not to over commit to too many clubs, activities, and programs and rather focus on the important classes and extra-murals that will help you reach the goals you have set for yourself.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Food has a much bigger impact on mood and mental health than you may know. When your body is not getting the right nutrients and vitamins it needs to function correctly, you start to feel sluggish, which directly affects your state of mind and mood.

When you are tired all the time or don’t have the energy to get things done, it makes you feel down and blue. The type of food you eat is also a major factor because over 90% of the serotonin; or happy hormones, is produced by your gut and in order to keep your gut balanced, it requires nutritious food.

Eating foods like whole grains, vegetables and fruit also feed your brain, which is going to be pushed to the max this coming school year. Additionally, you want to also keep your immune system in optimal shape to help fight off any viruses and bugs that may be lurking on campus. Approved Science® Immune Booster is a top quality supplement that can help give your immune system the boost it needs during stressful times.

There Is Help When You Need

Starting college may make you feel like a small fry in a big sea, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any resources available to you. The faculty of the college is very well aware of some of the bullying culture and hazing that still to this day occurs on campus grounds, which is why they have taken extra measures to put strict protocols in place. This includes access to guidance counselors, community groups, and other outreach programs that you can get involved in.

If you at any point feel that the new school year is putting your mental health at risk or you are having issues with a bully, don’t be afraid to utilize these many resources. You do not have to go through it alone. College is a fun and exciting experience and everyone has the right to enjoy it just as the next person without feeling left out, hurt, or pressured into doing anything they don’t want to. 

The Bottom Line

As the anxiety and excitement builds for the new school year ahead, it is important to prepare yourself mentally for the new challenges that lie ahead. Change can be very overwhelming, but you can easily adapt to your new teachers, routine, and classmates by focusing on your mindset and giving yourself some time to ease into the new schedules without putting too much pressure on yourself. It may all be a bit awkward and intimidating at first, but in a couple of weeks, you will feel comfortable and confident enough to achieve all of your personal and academic goals. 

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