Starting college can be scary. Very scary. You are embarking on a new phase of your life and knowing if you are ready for the challenges ahead can be nerve-racking. However, what I find solace in and you should to, is the mere fact that most incoming freshmen are all experiencing the same fears. As proof of this, here's a list of them.
1. The Size:
Although many colleges are considered small, they are still substantially larger than most high schools. I consider the size of most colleges to be intimidating. You’re surrounded by these BIG buildings full of BIG amounts of people with BIG hopes and dreams. As a freshman, you’re considered to be the “little fish in the BIG pond” and that can be scary. Many new students can feel inferior to their peers and fear that as a new student in a school filled with a mass amount of people it can be very difficult to find where you belong. Let alone, find where your next class is. There are so many places and people surrounding you that it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
2. The Location:
For many incoming freshmen, their college is far from home. Whether you are only an hour car ride away or a five-hour plane ride away, your class schedules make it very difficult for you to visit your home every day. The thought of being away from home for so long can be scary due to the meaning of that clichéd phrase, “Home is where the heart is.” Being away from home means being away from your family, your friends, your dog that slobbers all over your face after you just finished applying your face makeup, your bed that is always there for you after a rough leg day at the gym, your own shower that is the only place where you can sing at the top of your lungs, your own toilet that you know is always clean to sit on and is always going to be there for you after you’ve had your third cup of Starbucks coffee, and anything else that you hold close to your heart and can only be found at home. Leaving your home can cause you to become scared of missing everything a little too much.
In college, you have no idea who you are going to meet. Every college has its own diverse community of people from distinct backgrounds. It’s scary to think that you have to meet so many different people and figure out with whom you want to be friends with. College isn’t like high school where most people live nearby because in college people come from all over the country or sometimes all over the world. College can be scary because you have to be willing to meet all different kinds of people and hope that you’ll like some of them. It may also be scary because you have to open yourself up and be willing to meet people and make new friends. You have to put yourself out there, socialize, be friendly, and be confident. Considering all of the other fears you have about college, building new relationships is most likely the scariest one because it requires you to open up to people all on your own. College isn’t like high school where people come already having their friends from their previous school. In college most people are on their own, and being on your own can sometimes be scary.
4. The Prestige:
Colleges can be very prestigious. They hold a certain stature that can make succeeding academically seem very challenging. Many incoming freshmen, including myself, are scared to fail. Since college is considered the prestigious place where most of what you learn will be useful for your future career, students fear that this academic prestige will be too much to handle. They fear that their high schools did not prepare them enough for the rigorous material they will encounter. College also requires numerous hours of studying and preparing for exams that may be a large percentage of your final grade for that class. These infamous academic challenges in college can be scary to think about because no one knows how difficult their classes will be or how determined they will be to study when there will most likely be a party next door.
5. The Weight Gain:
“Freshman 15” is real and everyone knows it. Many incoming freshmen fear that during their college years they will lose all that muscle they’ve been tirelessly building up at the gym. They fear that their bodies will support the infamous theory of gaining fifteen pounds during their freshman year of college. It may seem easy to simply continue their regular eating habits so they won’t gain weight, however, college can make this difficult. With the combination of the wide variety of food that is in every college cafeteria and the consumption of high calorie alcohol, college students can put on a few pounds. Students fear that they will succumb to this phenomenon and gain weight without even realizing it. And although it seems like it happens to many college students, no one wants it to happen to them.
So, as a reader, I know what you are probably thinking. Why would I write an article reassuring the fears that every incoming freshman already has about starting college and is most likely attempting to ignore? Well, the answer to that question is that I am a firm believer of facing your fears. Yes, college can be scary and I, like many of you, have many fears about starting this new chapter in my life. However, now that I have confessed to these fears I know that I am ready to conquer them and you are too. Whether it’s solely being afraid of not knowing which building your Intro to Psych class is in or missing your mom’s homemade lasagna, you know that you are ready for college. Despite all of the fears, you know deep down that you are ready to challenge yourself and work towards the goals you’ve been setting for yourself since you were a child. You are ready to experience new ventures, meet new people, and grow as a person. Whether you believe it or not, you are ready to be a college student. So, congrats!