You counted down to move-in day, but the reality of living away from home can seem overwhelming to new college students. You suddenly face new responsibilities, such as money and time management, without the familiarity of home and friends. You can ease the difficulty of the transition with your involvement in campus life and the support network you create.

Explore Options

You leave behind the comforts of home and high school, but college offers many new opportunities for getting involved. You'll find clubs, organizations and social activities that weren't available in high school. The extracurricular activities give you a chance to explore new interests or expand your existing passions. You also get a break from studying, which can help you maintain balance. Colleges offer other opportunities through on-campus work and academic experiences outside of class, such as study abroad programs. Getting involved in campus activities helps you become part of the community so you feel more at home.

Build Relationships

The unfamiliar faces that surround you when you arrive on campus offer the potential for new friendships and connections. From your classmates to your dorm neighbors, the college lifestyle puts you in contact with others in your peer group in the same position. These new relationships create your new social circle that provides you with support and entertainment opportunities. As you meet new friends, you're likely to discover you're not the only one adjusting to college life.

Manage Responsibilities

Getting your new responsibilities in order gives you a sense of control and organization. Taking care of your health makes you feel better overall so you can handle the challenges you face at college. Healthy behaviors include sleeping enough, eating nutritious foods, managing your stress, exercising and avoiding drugs and alcohol. A schedule helps divide your time between class, studying, work and social activities. A budget keeps your spending realistic so you don't have to call mom and dad for extra cash. Having order in your life gives you the confidence you need to succeed at college.

Ask for Help

College is a time to establish your independence, but that doesn't mean you have to do it all alone. Your professors and their teaching assistants can help with academic issues that cause difficulty in your adjustment. The academic advising department is another resources for school-related issues. For roommate or social issues, the dorm resident assistant is a source of support and information. Check into the health services offered on campus to determine the availability of counseling if you continue having difficulty adjusting.