Adjustment to College

Starting college is an exciting time full of change, so it is very normal that students take time to adjust to college-level expectations and responsibilities. Below are just a few changes students can anticipate in the adjustment from high school to college:  

  1. Increased independence and responsibility – Students are now the ones making decisions on which classes they want to take, what they do in their free time, and the friends that they associate with. College students have more control of what courses they take and how they spend their time. This can mean that students have a greater interest in the courses they sign up for. However, this also means that students have to remember deadlines, balance a budget, and hold themselves accountable for responsibilities that they may have little experience with.
  2. Different environment and relationships – Incoming students need time to become familiar to campus and adjusting to the new social environment. It takes time to make friends and feel a sense of home in a new place, but staying on campus and opening yourself up to friendships helps students acclimate more quickly. As students spend more time on campus, they may also find that relationships with old friends also change as priorities shift in adulthood.
  3. Academic rigor – The college environment asks for students to be an active participant in learning, which means that students need to ask for help when they need it. It's important that students use office hours to answer their questions and reach out to other resources for support. Thorough note-taking and reading textbooks for class may be a new challenge for some students. Attending class is not the only time to be devoted to academics, students should spend at least 15-20 hours each week outside of class focusing on the academic material.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Create a weekly calendar with your schedule to identify study time and free-time.  
  • Sleep is important, have a bedtime so that you have enough rest to focus in your morning classes.
  • Find on-campus support when you encounter an issue – stop by COMPASS if you don't know where to start.
  • Introduce yourself to your classmates: you could make a potential friend and study buddy!
  • Identify what you want out of the college experience and what your purpose is in attending college – this will help you prioritize your time accordingly.
  • Get involved on campus to develop friendships and create a community at Wittenberg.
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