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Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

I'm a bit nervous about starting college tomorrow. Any advice?

Asked by Dazed_and_Confused (361 points ) August 26th, 2012

Hello there, I’m really nervous about college. I’m 20 years old and already living on my own with my boyfriend so I won’t be going to a campus or a dorm. I work full time as a PCA (personal care assistant).

I’m worried I won’t beable to balance school and work at the same time. I’m also scared because I keep thinking “what if I’m not smart enough?!” Its been 3 years since I’ve attended high school.and what if I don’t adapt to my new schedule easy?
I’m doing part time so my schedule is
Monday 630 -8:30
Tuesday 8–12:30
Thursday 8–12:30.
I’m so worried and the first person in my family to go. Maybe I’m thinking to negatively? I’m just so nervous!

I appreciate any goods advice.

PS. Its for human services

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15 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I would be concerned if you didn’t have stage-fright. Just breathe through the first day and it will get easier. Everyone is nervous.

During the years I was a teacher or in a teaching community, all the teachers (even the old pros) had jitters on the first day.

You will get the hang of it very quickly. You are smart enough and will be fine. If there are some snags, remember that you are not alone and not as terrified as the 18-year-olds.

Try to sleep. Chin up.

PS. You are ahead of the game because you have had on-the-job experiences.

Tachys's avatar

Congratulations! You should be excited. Be yourself, keep an open mind, and make sure to take school seriously. You are not the only one starting tomorrow, so don’t worry. Rest now. It’s going to be ok.

Pandora's avatar

Omg. Just enjoy. It was nerve racking at times but an enjoyable challenge. College is nothing like high school. You will be surprised at what you could manage. I was able to go to school and work and still find time to party and have fun. You just have to make sure the fun part doesn’t take over, and take your studies seriously. Best of luck.

Jeruba's avatar

Great! Everybody’s like that at first. In three weeks you’ll know everything you need to know, so don’t worry.

Stay open to things and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pay attention and enjoy the experience.

I went back to college after a four-year hiatus that interrupted my junior year. Four years as a working girl really settled me down and helped me understand how to make the most of it.

Think about befriending someone else who looks worried; that will do wonders to help you calm down. Sometimes the random person you commiserate with on your first nervous day ends up being a best friend for life.

augustlan's avatar

My oldest (@Fly) is starting classes tomorrow, too! Nerves are totally normal in new situations, but I bet you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Have a wonderful first day, and please let us know how it goes. :)

bookish1's avatar

Hey @Dazed_and_Confused , welcome to Fluther and congratulations on starting college. And it’s true, everyone gets first day jitters! I’ll be teaching my first undergrad classes this week, and even though it’s my fourth go-round, I’ll still be nervous as hell and glad when it’s over :-p

Some great advice in this thread already. I like Jeruba’s, about being open to new experiences, asking questions, and especially looking for people to make friends with. My two best friends on this planet, I met both of them during my first two weeks of college and we still are friends six years later.

Something I can add is: if you are worried about a class, an assignment, or even a particular crunch time, go to your teacher before it becomes a problem. I tell my students this all the time and most of them don’t take it seriously. But then again, most of them are 17–19 year olds who think they know everything and can handle everything…Until they have a crisis! Seriously, teachers will really respect you and the great majority will do their best to help you out if you go to them with your concerns about their class.

Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you feel the need to take a “mental health day” occasionally. Your physical and mental/emotional health should always come first. It is easy to feel in our society that we should ignore these things sometimes, but how can you even do good work in school if you are not well?

zenvelo's avatar

I was lousy at scheduling myself until late in my college career. But I took one of those hourly grids, and made it for every hour from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, and scheduled all my classes, all my work hours, and then my study time.

I made sure to fill in all those little empty hours as a stud time. Have an hour break? Go to the library. Fill in your study time as best you can.

And the the most important last step is to schedule some play time! Time with the boyfriend, time to go out somewhere, just some down time.

Oh, and give a copy of the schedule to your boyfriend and anyone else, so they know where you are and what you are doing.

Good luck, it can be a lot of fun and you learn something too!

BosM's avatar

Work hard, have fun, and be yourself. I believe success comes down to three key ingredients: Ability, Desire, and a little bit of luck.

What you are capable of will come easier, what challenges you will take more determination to grasp and learn. Stay focused and determined, keep your eyes on the prize, and if all else fails, remember to take deep breaths, it helps to control the anxiety. Good luck kiddo, you’ll be fine!

JLeslie's avatar

I have a feeling you will handle it just fine. Looking back I probably would have been more focused on my studies if I had taken a few years off before going to college.

Let’s make sure you know what you need since you’re the first in your family to go. I haven’t been to college in many many years, and it was before computers were in real use by the average person, so things have changed a lot, but some things are probably the same. Do you already have your books for class? I know that seems maybe like a basic question if you do already have them, but I had a friend who went back to college many years after high school and she didn’t realize she needed to pick up her books before class since in high school you get them in class (unless it has changed?). Do you have the class syllabus? A lot of people have never even heard of the word syllabus until they get to college. The syllabus would be your schedule of assignments for the semester.

What type of classes are you taking?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused I think you have a bit of an edge on the other students. You are a lot more mature and used to taking care of yourself. Anything new is always a challenge. Approach it that way and take it on like you would any other challenge. I went from a town of 2500 people to a college with 25000 students. I survived. :) You’ll do just fine. Just relax.

Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

Thanks everyone for your great and helpful advice! I’ll be going to class tonight after work, and I’ll let you know how out goes. @jlesie I Don’t have my books. There has been a problem with my financial aid. I may not be able to get then until next week! :/ I’m thinking of going in early or calling the professor and let then know of my financial aid situation and I may not be able to receive books until next week. Hopefully I can borrow one or share one in the mean time.

bookish1's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused : That’s rough about your financial aid. I had a similar problem that I had to straighten out last week; I didn’t have money for food, bills, or books :-/ I hope you get it sorted out soon. And I encourage you to talk to your professors ahead of time. Who knows, they might even lend you some books, or let you know where to find some extra copies. If they are not understanding of your position, shame on them for not remembering what it is like to be a student. Best of luck tonight and do let us know how it goes!

Jeruba's avatar

One other thought. Don’t be let down if the first session (or class hour) or so of each class doesn’t suddenly whisk you off to the heights of intellectual excitement. First sessions often tend to be about administrative things: syllabus, ground rules, grading policy, even how to arrange your chairs. This stuff has to be done, and it also allows for late enrollees to catch up without missing too much. There will probably be reading assignments, but perhaps not too much lecture on the first day. I remember feeling a little deflated, but you can think of it as a way to ease in.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba The OP needs just that. She doesn’t have her books yet, she is one of the students that needs the first class or two to be an adjustment period afforded to the new enrollees. If she is lucky that will be the case.

@Dazed_and_Confused how did it go? Can the prof help you with books for a week or two? If you can visit, email or text your other professor’s before going to class I would. is your school a junior college? Or, a university?

augustlan's avatar

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