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Freshman year of college is one of the most unique times in a young person’s life. For the first time, they are able to leave high school, move away from home and experience a sense of independence unlike ever before. However, this transition is not complete without its own set of challenges. Mental Health America addresses some of the top issues that college students face in their first year, including schoolwork, roommates, sleep issues and homesickness.
It is no secret that college is harder than high school. The classes are more intense and the course material is more in-depth. Many students find that the pressure of college classes are unbearable at times compared to high school.
Sophomore criminal justice major Benjamin McCauley says that college is more challenging because “it involves teaching yourself a lot of material, while in high school, a lot more is just given to you.”
Before college, most students lived at home with their parents, and may not have had any experience living with a roommate. Sharing a small space with another person can be difficult, and in order to avoid conflict and maintain a good relationship, it is important for a student to establish rules and expectations for their dorm with their roommate.
Mental Health America recommends that college students get at least eight or nine hours of sleep each night. For a student that wakes up at 8 a.m., this means going to bed at midnight or earlier, which many students find difficult when they need to finish homework or are spending time with friends.
“The amount of sleep I get now is much less than what I got before…it has definitely affected me negatively because I wake up more tired,” sophomore finance major Steven Neaves said. By getting enough sleep, freshmen are able to boost their energy levels, stay healthy, maintain good grades, succeed in classes and participate in extracurricular activities.
One of the most common issues that freshmen experience when starting college is homesickness. For most students living on campus, going to college means that they will be living away from home for the first time. Instead of coming home at the end of the day to their house, family and pets, they come home to a small dorm room and an unfamiliar roommate.
One good way to combat homesickness is to keep in touch with family and friends from back home. Additionally, by joining a club or organization and reaching out to new people, a student can make new friends and gain a sense of belonging in their new environment.
Freshman year of college can feel overwhelming at times, but students should not let fear keep them from experiencing new things.
“It amazes me how after one week of being here, that God’s plan is already so bold in my life,” freshman business major Jancarlo Rodriguez said. “With all the wonderful people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve been having, I know that God has great things in store for my life and for all of those who attend UMHB.”
Making new friends, getting involved on campus, getting enough sleep, focusing on schoolwork, and focusing on one’s relationship with God are all important things for a new student to do during their first year at UMHB.
With a little focus and a lot of trust in God, any student can succeed.