Useful tips for new students to ease the transition
With the start of the fall semester, it is important to discuss the effects of entering a new school as an incoming freshman. Most new students feel anxious and don’t know how to handle this new environment. Here are some tips to make the transition smoother and more enjoyable based on what has helped me and a few other students in the past.
Know that you are not alone
It is important not to isolate yourself by thinking that you are the only one feeling this. It’s best to embrace the feeling and understand that it’s expected. Consider talking to a friend back home or a new dorm mate about your thoughts and feelings.
“Coming to Umass worsened my mental health. I just got stressed out with everything. It’s very hard to force me to go to class,” said new student Sophia Marchese. Although she enjoys the new freedom and social life here at school, she still feels the pressure to enter a new environment.
Make education fun
Going from a high school workload to a college workload can feel like a shock, often causing stress. The best way to help you is to make it more fun. Try to study in a new place. For me, my roommate and I go to the local Barnes & Noble, grab a bunch of snacks, and get to work. The food selection at this place includes various croissants, cheesecakes and cupcakes.
UMass student Diana Duarte addresses these issues and how she manages her workload. “I make managing a larger workload more accessible by studying in different locations on campus. It helps me better manage my time, get my work done, and prioritize my mental health. She went on to say that visiting a cafe, a school building between classes, or the library made her transition easier.
Keep a detailed schedule
Keeping a schedule of homework, exams, and important dates helps avoid last-minute cramming. Compared to high school, college has many more long-term assignments; a detailed timeline helps you move forward. Helpful tips include using Google Sheets, color coding by grade, and daily check-in.
mental health work
Try going for a run on campus or visit the UMass Recreation Center. Make sure your living space is clean and organized. Doing your job in a neat environment reduces stress and keeps you focused on the mission.
Talking to someone like a friend or a professional can be another great way to take care of yourself. There are many helpful resources available from the University of Massachusetts Psychological Health and Counseling Center. What follows link provides several apps to help reduce stress and anxiety.
For on-campus support, check out the Center for Counseling Health website or call crisis services if you need help with a psychological or emotional crisis at 413-545-2337. The crisis center is reachable on a 24/7 hotline with many people ready to help you.