As graduation approaches, high school seniors sometimes experience a sudden shift in emotions. Their excitement and readiness to get out on their own turns into a fear of the unknown coupled with the reality of this great change. The transition from high school to college is a huge step and being nervous about this transition is completely normal.
Every high school student experiences pre-college fears to some degree. Even if you have made every effort to prepare for the college experience and are more than ready to finally get out on your own, there is always at least a little uncertainty.
Learning from experience
By the time my high school graduation rolled around, I was beyond ready to get far away from Florida and be on my own. I had been to summer camps, so I knew what it was like to spend time away from my family. I knew I’d meet friends at college, since I was outgoing and made friends fairly easily. I had also spent the entire year prior to graduation reading everything there is to know online about “How to Survive Freshman Year.”
Yet, as graduation crept closer, I couldn’t help but think how much I was going to miss everything I was leaving behind. I would also worry about the upcoming year and wonder if I was actually ready for the big transition.
Turns out, I mostly worried for nothing. Freshman orientation at most colleges and universities keeps students busy for the days leading up to the first day of classes, allowing you to meet numerous other students and have so much fun you’ll forget any worries you may have had. But, for current high school students, you may be wondering if your pre-college fears are normal.
Biggest pre-college fear #1 – I won’t like my roommate!
Thoughts of my future college roommate were some of my biggest pre-college fears. Growing up, I was blessed to have never shared a room with anyone more than a night or two when I had a sleepover. I enjoyed being able to have a space that was mine, that I could keep exactly how I wanted it.
Luckily, most colleges now allow you to view your roommate assignment months before move-in day and even provide contact information. I was able to connect with my roommate via Facebook before even stepping on campus, which made the transition that much easier. While talking to them, go beyond their general interests and set up some “house rules.” Agreeing on rules that include study hours, having guests over, sharing food, etc. can eliminate misunderstandings and arguments before they happen.
Even if you don’t end up best friends, most roommates can live peacefully with only minor struggles to work through. Your Residence Life department can always help to mediate disputes and help to find another roommate as a last resort.
Biggest pre-college fear #2 – I won’t know anyone!
The best thing about entering your freshman year of college is that even though you may feel alone, nearly everyone else feels the exact same way! Though some incoming freshmen may know 1 or 2 other students, especially if they are going to a college near their hometown, most students are going to know very few people.
In many ways, not knowing any other students can actually be a good thing. Tired of that nickname your friends have been calling you since pre-school? Want to try a new style of clothing or haircut, but are afraid of what others will say? College can be a time to reinvent yourself and be exactly who you want to be.
Attending a pre-college program can help alleviate fears
Even if you are not graduating this year, you may already be experiencing a few pre-college fears. Attending a pre-college program can help high school students feel more adjusted to college life and comfortable making the transition from high school to college.
During a Blueprint Pre-College Program, high school students will have the opportunity to be on a college campus away from parents, live with a roommate, attend a college-style course and make decisions on which activities to participate in. For 1 or 2 weeks, students can experience what college will be like and discover there is much more to be excited about and much less to fear.