Weekend Reads: Starting College

To put it simply: starting college can be one of the most exciting and most stressful times in our lives. Major transitions in our lives like starting a new school, moving, and navigating and settling into your identity can be a shock to our system. It’s takes your daily routine and turns it inside-out, puts you in settings you’re not familiar with, and takes us entirely out of our comfort zone. All of this can have an impact on our mental health: being put in the unfamiliar can cause anxiety and depending on how we’re handling it, can affect our self-esteem and can cause depressive symptoms. If we don’t think we’re doing a good job handling the changes and think that the people around us are coping just fine, for example, we might blame ourselves and think we’re doing something wrong. College is one of the biggest life transitions you might be making, or have made so far. It’s a combination of starting a new school, moving, and settling into your identity, and it might be the first time you’ve had to experience doing pretty much everything independently. While you might be experiencing that independence for the first time, you aren’t alone in this change. About two-thirds of high school graduates go on to start college, and a third of those college freshmen report having a mental health disorder. Those may already have been diagnosed or may have been diagnosed while starting, but regardless, this time is a significant one that can throw our minds and bodies for a loop, and it’s not uncommon. Whether you’re already in college or have graduated and want a bit of nostalgia, are in the process of applying for college and want to get ahead, or an incoming freshman or transferring to a new school who wants advice, we hope that some of the stories listed below about people’s experiences and advice about their own freshmen year can help you wherever you need.

What I Wish I Had Known Freshman Year of College

Four College Freshmen Photograph Their First Semester

Upperclassmen Share their Awkward Stories from Freshman Year

Are you starting or will you be starting college soon? What concerns do you have? If you aren’t a freshman, what advice or stories do you have about your freshman year?

Moderator ★

Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: https://sova.pitt.edu/i-need-help-now We look forward to talking to you!

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