As a first year student, I’ve been experiencing a lot of anxieties from my transition from high school to university. Some things have been especially tough since I’m a commuter and I don’t seem to blend into the social aspects of university life as easily as residence students do. Therefore, I want to write this article as a way to document my experience and see if I can come up with solutions to my own problems.
Anxiety # 1: Loneliness
It is no surprise to people that this may be the first thing felt by many first year students, as university is the time to part ways with many of your friends in high school. As a commuting student, it is especially tough because new friendships seem to develop more slowly than expected. You are no longer expected to sit in groups, socialize with the same people in each class, or sit with your squad during lunch time. Everything you were used to as far as socializing in concerned, has slightly changed.
Possible solution: Join more extracurricular and engage in conversation more with people who sit next to me during lectures and tutorial times.
Anxiety # 2: The workload
This was an unpleasant surprise, I never would have thought that a liberal arts program would require 200-300 pages of reading a week. It is a big step up from the usual high school world load and makes me wish my school had more AP program courses that would help me get used to this shift.
Possible solution: Learn to compete with yourself, not others. University is not the time to be competing against all your other classmates, you are being tested mainly for your own study habits. If you have good study habits, then this shift in workload may not be a big problem. So I need to learn to do more work day by day and increase my working stamina slowly.
Anxiety # 3: Fear for what the future may hold
In high school, everyone seemed to know exactly where they were going. If you asked someone, where do you see yourself in the future? They will likely tell you with a lot of certainty that they hope to go to this or this university program in the future. When you ask your peers this same question in university, there is much less certainly, even for me when I ask myself this question, it seems scary how far away my dream job really is and I’m never certain if I’m on the right path anymore.
Possible solution: The only way to ensure success in university is to study hard, so I will try my best in this aspect and not worry too much about an intangible future.
Anxiety # 4: Being independent
I have never been at a position in life when I needed to use something like Google Ca lender and tasks to organize my life. But now, I have so much things that I need to do every week, I need to do everything on my own, from random errands to bigger life problems. This is an expected aspect of being an adult now, but it is still difficult to get used to in the beginning.
Possible solution: Practice takes time. Eventually I will be at a place where I feel I can take care of myself and all of these new things I have to deal with will seem normal, as I’ve said before, it’s all just about growing up.
In short, the transition from high school to university is not an easy one, and hopefully my solutions for myself work out, and if it doesn’t, I will think of new ones for myself in the future and post an updated article when I’m in my second year. Huzzah.