Don’t Panic: How to Adjust to College-Level Classes

After all the applications, the rejection letters and acceptance letters, financial aid paperwork, orientation, move-in day and so much more, you are finally here. This is your first semester of college, and you’re ecstatic. But a month or two in, you may be feeling overwhelmed, lost, homesick, lonely and, above all, stressed about classes that constantly seem to require something from you. 

Take a deep breath. 

You are not alone. Your roommates, your friends and even your RA are often feeling the exact same way. You’re not “weird” if you’re having a harder time adjusting, if you’re missing home or if you’re feeling caught off guard by the occasional pop quiz. This is hard. Let’s say that again: This is hard. 

You’re at a top-10 public university. Classes are hard. There are countless, awesome extracurriculars, but sometimes they can feel as intense as your hardest class. On top of class and extracurriculars, you’re learning how to manage time, money and roommates. Basically, there is a lot of pressure in college. It’s okay to admit that. You may tell yourself, everyone else is having fun. What am I doing wrong? 

Nothing. 

Leesa Lloyd, the admin support for the UF Teaching Center, knows what it’s like to go to school here. As a UF graduate, Lloyd said she, like many freshmen, expected college to be similar to high school. She struggled with time management, but just like Lloyd, you can do it. And you don’t have to do it alone. 

There are so many resources on- and off-campus to help you succeed and reach your goals. As Lloyd said, “There’s a lot of resources on campus that a lot of people don’t know about.” Reach out and follow the links below to explore some of these resources. 

Mental Health

Guys, there are dogs. Need I say more? The UF Counseling and Wellness Center has certified therapy dogs in case you need a furry friend to cuddle and feel better. While you're petting the dogs, the CWC is there to help when you need someone to listen, when you need help managing anxiety or when you just need a cute canine friend. It is also okay to take it easy. “It’s okay not to take 18 credits,” Lloyd said, “It’s okay to start with 12, and then maybe you have to be here for the summer, but at least you’re not under water.”

Academic Tutoring

Need help with physics? Drop by the UF Teaching Center. They can also assist you with chemistry, algebra, statistics and even complex variables. “We’re part of CLAS, which is the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and so a lot of the weed out courses, [you] can get help with. So, instead of struggling with Chem 1 or Calc 2, which are gateway classes for…mandatory classes for your field,” Lloyd said.

Struggling with your essay? Check out the UF Writing Studio, and make sure your thesis is in tip-top condition. 

Office Hours

Did you know that UF faculty office hours can actually be helpful? Yep. Watch the Arizona State University’s hilarious video about getting over a fear of office hours, or ask a friend from class to try out office hours with you if you’re feeling nervous.  

With all these resources at your disposal, you can do this! You really can.