Life U 101: Setting yourself up for success as a first-year college student

Starting college is a major transition in a person’s life, as is the start of “adulting.” The first year of college is challenging, and some students have a harder time with the transition than others. Maybe you are feeling homesick because you now live in a dorm with roommates and you don’t know anyone in your class. You feel you forgot how to make friends. Heck, you haven’t had to make a new friend since freshman year of high school! To make matters seemingly worse, you worry, “What if I raise my hand and the answer is wrong!? Then no one will want to talk to me because I look stupid! Great. Now I am probably going to bomb this class. I’ll just sit in the back of the room and keep quiet from now on.”

You also may feel so lost because you have no idea what you want to do for the rest of your life and are questioning “what is my purpose?” Working at the school cafe just doesn’t do it for you. Let alone, you may be wondering how to cook because the perks of being a barista and surviving on coffee and bagels doesn’t cut it, but you are not feeling too confident with your cooking skills– and you feel you have no time in the world to cook– so you choose fast food even though you know it is not the healthiest option and now you are worried about the dreaded “freshman 15.” Or if you are a student athlete, maybe you would like help balancing homework with your extracurricular activities. For those who are excited about college, maybe you want to explore clubs and activities but don’t know where to begin and have no idea how to fit it all in your schedule. Or you may be in a long-distance relationship with your high school sweetheart and feel lonely because you miss them so much and worry if your relationship is strong enough to last and you are losing sleep over it. Lowkey, you just simply miss the love of your life– your furry BFFE.

You are not alone.

Whether you are experiencing challenges academically, socially, holistically (mind, body, spirit), financially, group counseling is one of the most effective tools for addressing common hardships that college students face. Students are invited to connect with others while gaining insight into their mental health concerns and be given coping skills to practice new ways of managing them. These groups are a blend of skills training, peer support, and, sorry to do this to you– homework! Don’t worry, therapy homework is not graded. Just like college, group therapy is what you make of it! 

As someone who has worked with college students for 14 years within academic advising and career counseling, and teaching “freshman experience” courses, I understand the struggles you are facing. I have also been there, done that. While college may seem like you are a small fish in a big pond, and if you feel like you are drowning, you’re certainly not the only one. Join this casual therapy group with your peers to roll with the tides and swim through the currents of your first year in college.

College Group Application