The Transition To College Life

Hannah Dollar, Editor

As we, as Seniors, begin to receive acceptance into a future after high school, we are often faced with the fear of the question: what is next? After spending the past several months preparing for our futures, how do we approach and get the most out of the experiences that await us? I have formed a brief list of things I, myself, will try to keep in mind as I enter the next chapter of my life. I hope some of which you will find helpful and relieving of the anxiousness I am confident we are all feeling. 

Make Your Dorm Home

I believe surrounding myself and establishing a version of what is home to me will aid me in my transition into college life. When you think of your life now, and the home you grew up in, whatever comes to mind shouldn’t just be left behind or forgotten until you visit home on break. I think it will be comforting to know that you have a few pieces of your home with you as you settle into your new four-year home. Some ideas of what to bring are pictures, your favorite items from your bedroom, favorite pieces of clothing, the most comforting blanket, entertaining games, and anything else that may make you feel a sense of familiarity in an initially unfamiliar place.

Prioritize Personal Interests

Bring your hobbies and interests to college with you. Just because this is a new start doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the things that currently bring you joy. For me, this will probably mean having a coffee bar in my dorm because that is something that brings me joy every morning; making a coffee. I will also prioritize staying connected with old friends as I make new ones and participate in more school-related events and activities like I wish I had in high school. These, of course, may not pertain to you, so I encourage you to find what does. Whether that may be joining an intramural team, finding a local study spot, journaling, working out, or anything else that motivates you. Prioritizing them will establish a familiar and sturdy foundation for what comes next.

Form Relationships 

For many, a common association with going to college is meeting new people. Most of us are coming out of high school, having gone to school with the same peers since kindergarten, and now we are entering a new environment with more opportunities to meet and connect with people. I think we will all find it crucial to establish these relationships early on, not just with other students but also with professors. Maybe that means sitting closer to the front of the room or staying after a lecture to clarify and ask questions. Overall having connections with professors will only benefit you, particularly when it comes to job applications, internships, professional projects, and mentorship.

Health Awareness

I often hear about the infamous “freshman 15” or the college freshman dropping out because they were under too much pressure, and I think that can be discouraging. Going into college, I will try to be actively aware of my overall well-being. Maintaining a healthy diet and remaining active, but making sure that I am establishing a manageable schedule and routine. It will be helpful to identify potential stressors going into college and be mindful of ways to cope with those stressors. 


Live In The Moment, But Keep The Future In Mind

Have fun and live your life, but don’t make decisions that will hurt your future. Just because you have newfound freedom doesn’t mean you should undo all the hard work you have done and will do. It is good to acknowledge that college is more than hitting the books and having a good time. However, it does not have to be one or the other, and it is not just both. There is an abundance of opportunities in college that we didn’t have in high school. We not only will have the freedom to explore academically but explore socially. There are many ways to find friends based on our current interests or interests that we would like to investigate to see if they are of interest. 


It is okay to admit that college is intimidating; I think it should be as we are transitioning into a more independent life that most likely is foreign territory to all of us. However, I believe focusing on essential aspects of the transitional process and being aware of what it takes for you, personally, to succeed and thrive in your new setting could benefit all of our futures.