The new experiences that college brings—living away from home, pursuing challenging academics, meeting new people—are exciting. But for a lot of students, they can also be overwhelming. Fortunately, many schools have an array of resources and support systems in place. Utilizing them can help you get through challenges and help you grow and thrive.
Health and safety
Now that you’re on your own, it’s up to you to make sure your physical and mental health are well maintained. And keeping your body and mind in shape is key to your overall wellbeing, school success, and happiness.
- Health services: This is your doctor’s office away from home, and it’s where you should go if you get sick, want a checkup, need a doctor’s signoff to participate in an activity, or require a prescription. If you’re still on your parents’ insurance, they’ll likely take it, and if not, you can often qualify for an inexpensive student plan.
- Counseling: Whether you’re looking for individual therapy, group sessions, psychiatric care, or medication, the counseling office at your school will typically provide the service or help connect you to local resources.
- Campus police: If you need to report a crime or need emergency help, contact the school’s police. Some school police departments may also offer escort services to students walking alone late at night.
- Fitness facilities: Access to gyms (often multiple!) is usually included with your tuition and fees, so you can stay in shape and manage your stress. If you’re not sure where to start, many campus gyms offer training programs and group fitness classes, like cycling and yoga.
The rigorous demands of college classes compared to high school courses can be a tough adjustment for some students. But you don’t have to muddle through on your own. There are many resources to help you choose the appropriate classes and succeed in them.
- Academic advisors: The advisor assigned to you can help you choose the right classes to ensure that you graduate on time in the major of your choice. Sometimes you’ll have a second advisor specific to your major. In addition to helping you with school decisions, your advisor may have connections to internships in the field.
- Tutoring: Most campuses use upper-level students approved by their professors to provide help to students who need it. Depending on the subject matter, some schools even employ professional tutors.
- Writing center: Many schools have a writing center where students can go for help with essays and papers for their classes or even graduate school applications. Often, the support comes from other students who specialize in writing and have been trained to assist.
- Office hours: Your professors and teaching assistants (TAs) set aside time each week to answer questions and consult with students. Take advantage of their availability to gain a deeper understanding of the subject, talk through concerns, and receive guidance if you are stuck. Visiting office hours also gives you a chance to build relationships with your professors and TAs.
- Library: The campus library offers a quiet place to study, including group rooms that can be reserved for projects, as well as access to scholarly articles and journals, textbooks, and course materials. Printing, copying, and binding services are also usually available at the library.
There’s a lot more to college—and campus life—than academics. Make the most of your college years by getting involved in extracurriculars like student groups and organizations.
- Recreational sports: You don’t have to be an all-star to get involved in intramural sports. Join a team for a sport you played in high school or try something new altogether.
- Access to the arts: Whether you want to participate in plays or just see them, college theater is a great resource. Your school also likely has art galleries and shows, as well as musical performances.
- Student organizations and clubs: There’s something for everyone. Find friends who share your hobbies and interests.
- Multicultural centers and organizations: Create connections, build community, and learn from students with diverse backgrounds. Participate in opportunities and conversations related to issues that are meaningful to you.
- Religious centers: These can help you find your own spiritual path—away from your family—and give you a space to observe religious holidays and customs.