Cindy Gullo, LCPC - Therapist & Counselor
The Blog

Nervous About College? Here’s How to Love It

Vietnamese college student having cup of coffee , reading data on laptop screen and taking notes late at night

“How Will I Do With College Courses?”

This is a great question. The whole experience of college isn’t much like high school, but the classes are mostly the same. You show up and sit down while a professor talks for 45 minutes or two hours and you take notes, and then eventually you get tested on what you’ve learned. The major difference when it comes to college is that courses focus more on personal responsibility. If you don’t go to class for two weeks, it’s very unlikely that the professor is even going to notice. However, don’t get too wrapped up in the party scene⁠⁠—you’re going to have to take an exam on the material eventually, and if you haven’t been attending class you might simply fail the course. Final exams can be 100% of your grade in some cases!

“I Haven’t Chosen My Major Yet.”

That’s just fine! Many students don’t select a major until well into their second year of college. Look at what prerequisites you can take care of during your freshman year. If you know you’d like to go into engineering, for example, you can usually set your major as Undeclared – Engineering and knock out those math and physics classes that are required for most students. About a third of students change their major at least once, and more than 10% change it three times or more. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking some time to be sure you’re in a major that works for you.

“How Will I Handle Stress?”

Handling college stress is just like handling any other kind of stress. It’s important to figure out healthy ways to deal with it, and everyone is different. In pretty much any situation, though, you can just take a deep breath and a few seconds to remember where you are. Also, another critical thing to remember is that the people you meet in college want you to succeed. Your professors are there to teach you, and they usually have office hours you can attend if there’s anything you don’t understand.

Outside of the classroom, everyone else is dealing with the same things you are. The friends you make (and you will make friends!) are there to talk to you, and they might even be dealing with the exact same thing. Of course, nothing beats talking to a professional. If you’d like to chat and see if we can work together on your freshman fears, my door is always open. I look forward to hearing from you!