Moving away from home and starting on our own is never easy. Everyone struggles, even us military kids. Having completed my first year of college, I can definitely say that it isn't easy, but with my military background, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. We are stronger than we think we are and we can all do whatever we want if we put our mind to it. Here are three tips I have for incoming freshman to help you make it through your first year.
1. Don't be shy. Whether you moved 20 minutes away from your home or thousands of miles away from it, I can guarantee you're not the only one on your own for the first time. Almost everyone at college is in a similar boat as you. Everyone is in a new environment and has to meet new people. Dont' be shy and talk to as many people as you can. Chances are, the person you're talking to is also looking to meet new people and new friends. No one will judge you for talking to them and trying to strike up a conversation; they'll probably appreciate it. Plus, the more people you talk to , the bigger your network gets. This not only helps you in feeling more comfortable because you have more friends, but it also gives you more people to work on homework with and ask for assignments if you miss class. Which, trust me, you'll appreciate later.
2. Manage your time. Honestly, I can't stress this enough. Once you get to college, your schedule changes. And I don't just mean your class schedule. Some people get jobs, some have clubs, others just like to hang out. Regardless of what you're doing, managing your time will help. I'm a procrastinator to the max and I know that I have regretted not budgeting my time properly when I have the 5 page paper due in 3 hours and I've only written 2 words (my name). College takes a lot out of you, but if you just take the time to sit down and plan out when you're going to do what, you can save yourself a lot of stress. Make to-do lists, use an agenda, set aside a set study/homework time every night, or even set alerts on your phone. You don't have to go overboard with planning everything out, but definitely be mindful of what you do and don't procrastinate. When you manage your time wisely, you are a lot less stressed and you actually get more free time to binge watch that show on Netflix.
3. Call home. A lot of people think that they're independent once they get to college and won't miss home, but at some point you will. Don't forget where you came from and always remember that your parents are probably missing you like crazy. Call them every once in a while. They'll appreciate it and it will probably make you feel better too. At some point during the year, you're going to miss having someone cook dinner for you, you're going to miss your bed, and you're going to miss that security and comfort that your parents and home gave you. You'll learn to appreciate the little things as you stay on your own for a year. Calling your parents is nothing to be ashamed of and is actually a great thing to do. As a military brat, you probably grew up facing a lot of tough challenges and you are strong. You can probably handle a lot on your own, have responsibility, and are adaptable, so college won't be too difficult. But calling home feels good and it can make the separation process easier if you are struggling. Even if you aren't struggling, cherishing your family is a wonderful quality to have. Go ahead and tell your parents about your day or your crazy new professor. You don't need to stay too attached to home, but at least show you're thinking about it.
College is an adjustment, but as a military brat, I'm confident that you'll do fine! Work hard and stay strong and don't lose focus of your goals. Make the best of your experience, because the years will go by faster than you think! Good luck!