The transition from high school to college is a big step for many teens. Moving into a dorm room, eating in dining halls, hugging your parents’ goodbye, and leaving childhood friends, can be extremely overwhelming for a college freshman. It is a time of change and for many it represents the beginning of adulthood. Many students, like myself, do not do well with change at all. The sudden change of environment and new responsibilities can cause students a great deal of stress and can make the transition difficult. College students are one of the highest populations of people with depression and anxiety. By taking the right steps and being proactive, college students can begin their college career in a positive way. Rutgers University Health Services provided a list of tips for freshman to maintain positive mental health.
I personally think that the most important tip on the list is to keep the communication lines open with family and friends. They are your number one fans, and will always root for you and be there for you no matter what. Family never fails. Also on the list, is to volunteer and get involved on campus. This is a great way to make new friends and avoid being lonely. Being involved on campus will keep you very busy; so much that you won’t have time to be sad or homesick.
Another tip is to make sure you know the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Normal sadness or homesickness will only last a few days and then pass. Depression is debilitating and is long-term. If you are not feeling happy or more at ease after the first few weeks of school, relax, and ask for help if you need it. Know that you can always reach out to the UNH Counseling Center or UNH Health Services to speak with a counselor. Do not be ashamed to ask for help, you may simply need someone to talk to! Other freshman or upperclassman may be going through something very similar. Every student experiences first year jitters; you are not alone! Check out the rest of the list for more mental health tips and others! Have a happy, healthy start to college!