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The start of a new school year is hard for everyone, especially college freshmen who are having trouble adjusting to being away from home for the first time.


As a freshman myself, I have felt this way too. Not knowing what to do in my free time, feeling a bit lonely when my roommate is gone or just simply in need of a hug. But since moving in, I have found several ways to help me adjust to college life.



  1. Become friends with your floormates.

Yes, making friends can be hard, but that’s why you live on campus. Getting to know your floormates creates a community and can give you the opportunity to meet potential friends. These types of friends are great especially if you need someone to go downtown with or just to talk to. All you’ll have to do is knock on their door. 


  1. Get involved 

There are plenty of student organizations and activities on campus that you will most likely find something that suits your interests. And, if the campus doesn’t have a club you like, create your own!



  1. Explore the city or town you’re in

Everyone chooses their college for a specific reason, whether it’s for academics or internships. For me, it was a combination of those as well as the location of my school. Wherever you may be,  it’s a new environment you should take the time to learn about the best spots in town. Plus, walking around somewhere new will help relieve stress.



  1. Establish a healthy routine.

As much as you may think you’ve established a great routine, you may still be overlooking a few key healthy habits. Personally, it took a while to realize this for me. But once I did, I saw how important it is to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Great ways to do this are going to bed at a decent time, eating around the same time each day, exercising, and so on.



  1. Facetime or call your family back home.

As much as people may say “oh I barely talk to my parents” this is most likely false. I found reaching out to my parents daily was a great boost to my mental state and helped me to adjust. I’ve even made a plan to call my extended family once a week. It’s natural to be upset and call home– hearing your family’s voice can help more than anything else.



  1. Know you are not alone

At times, college can feel scary and you can feel out of place. Know you are not alone. There are people in the same boat as you so don’t be afraid to seek help from fellow classmates or professionals.


As college goes on, it will get easier to be away from home. But for now, use whatever tactics that will help you to make the adjustment easier on yourself and just remember everything will be ok. 


*A Note for AU Students* AU offers a counseling center with drop-in hours from 2-4 pm Monday through Friday of you can call 202-885-3500 to make an appointment. Also, you can contact the suicide prevention hotline by calling 1-800-273-8255.


Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Gianna is currently a junior at American University in Washington, D.C., and is majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. She is the managing editor of Her Campus at American University. Gianna enjoys writing about Women's Advocacy, Politics and Pop Culture. She also loves to travel and find hole-in-the-wall restaurants in D.C.
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