Parents aren’t the only ones who worry when their student leaves for college. Students have their own list of worries to cope with. They may not always voice them, but you can be sure they have them. Amidst all the excitement of leaving home and the newfound independence, there are also worries as well.
Following are their 10 biggest worries when leaving for college.
1. Will I miss my family?
Of course they will. They will miss their mom’s home cooking, watching sports with their dad or working on the car together, or playing video games with their siblings. The key to overcoming the homesickness is to create a home away from home at college and get involved with their new college family.
2. Will I make new friends?
Just as they felt insecure on the first day of school, those feelings of insecurity are still there. Meeting new people and making new friends is probably the hardest part of going off to college. The good news is that everyone else is in the same boat.
3. Will I be able to handle the responsibility alone?
Students wonder if they can survive without their parents’ constant guidance and support. Although they have longed for the independence, they are smart enough to know that the support they had at home will no longer be instantly available. It’s a scary feeling to be cast out to sea without a lifejacket; and that’s just how they feel.
4. Will I disappoint my parents?
Every student fears that they won’t be able to achieve academic success in college, even if they were an excellent student in high school. This concern is rooted in the fact that they don’t want to disappoint their parents. They worry about their grades falling, changing their major, upsetting their parents and being able to compete academically with other students.
5. Will my friends/boyfriend forget about me?
Every student leaves behind friends, and sometimes a significant other from high school. What they don’t realize is they will make new friends and those high school relationships often dissolve as both parties grow apart. It may be painful at first, but other relationships will come along to replace them.
6. Will I be pressured to have sex?
No student should feel they are pressured into having sex. But the sad fact is that college students often get drunk, which leads to sexual encounters—most of them merely “hooking up” one time. Before leaving for college, it’s important to decide a course of action if/when the situation arises.
7. Will I be safe?
It’s no wonder that students worry about their safety. But the reality is that college campuses are safe places. Being wise about who they spend time with, being alert with their surroundings, and programming emergency numbers into their cellphone are wise courses of action. All colleges have measures in place to secure the safety of their students.
8. Will I be accepted?
Everyone faces rejection during their school years and college is no exception. However, being afraid of the rejection can cause students to become isolated and often hinder their ability to connect with other students. Students should know that anyone who can’t accept them for who they are isn’t worth their offer of friendship.
9. Will I get a weird roommate?
Most likely at some point during their college years they will have a weird roommate. Often the resident assistant in the dorm can help resolve and mediate any conflicts or concerns. If it becomes unbearable, however, resident life can be contacted and asked to intervene.
10. What will happen at home when I’m gone?
Life goes on at home just as it does at college. Breaks and summers allow students to reconnect with their family and catch up on anything they have missed. It’s only natural for them to feel a little estranged, especially if they are attending a college far from home.
Student concerns are a natural and normal part of the college process. They are separating from their parents for the first time and seeking independence. With that independence, however, comes responsibility for their actions. Their worries, even though they might be unfounded, should be addressed and discussed openly before they venture out on their own.