Adjusting to the College of Wooster

Many students struggle with adjusting to being away from home, learning to manage new responsibilities, developing new relationships and maintaining old ones, coping with living on campus, and becoming involved in campus life, etc. This can be disconnecting and it can be difficult to develop those skills of being independent for the first time on your own. Often the coping skills you begin to develop now are ones that you will carry with you to your career and relationships beyond college (this is not to say that you will not pick up a few more, or even develop some unhealthy ones that you have to correct later).

Try some of these tips to acclimate to your new environment:

  • Stay on campus as much as possible in your first month of school. Friendships get made at this time and it’s harder to get involved and make friends if you return home every weekend.
  • Approach one new person in your residence hall each day and try to get to know them. You will be surprised at how pleased other people are to be noticed by you, and you may stumble onto someone that would like as a friend.
  • Volunteer for some project, job, or club on campus. Having some responsibilities can make you feel connected to campus.
  • Try to “get up and going” even if you are not feeling enthusiastic. Sometimes the feelings follow the actions and withdrawing in your room may make you feel worse. Although if you need “introvert” time, it is also important to not over stimulate yourself. Have boundaries!
  • Develop a routine for yourself. Be sensitive to your needs. If you are not getting enough rest or eating properly, it can exacerbate low moods.
  • Be patient with yourself. The academic year can be strenuous, it is important to pace yourself.
  • For more information on transitioning from high school to college and adulthood, visit Set to Go, a JED Foundation Program.

If you are struggling with the adjustment, perhaps coming into the Wellness Center and talking with one of the counselors could be helpful.

*Taken in part from Illinois State University