Welcome to Georgia Southern University! We are excited to have you join our community and want to help facilitate your transition to college.
Going to college involves many changes. It can be thought of as going from one culture (high school) to a very different one – with a different language, norms, and expectations. Changes can be both exciting and sometimes scary. However, the more you can begin to think about and prepare for these changes, the more successful (and happy) you well be at the university. We at the Georgia Southern Counseling Center want to offer you a few things to think about as you prepare to begin your college career.
College is often very different from high school. In high school, some of your teachers often reminded you of tests, assignments, and asked you to turn in your work if it is late. In college, you are given a syllabus at the beginning of the semester and are expected to be prepared throughout for exams and turning in your work. In addition, you are given more freedom and responsibility to attend classes. The challenge for many student is to decide whether they want to be a passive learner (i.e., an empty container; that just waits for a professor to fill it) or an active learner (i.e., someone who ensures that they learn what they need and will take initiative in the learning process). How will you go about your learning process? How will you go about the transition into the role of college student? What goals are you going to set for yourself to help you succeed?
Will you be attending with friends from high school or will you be the only one you know when you arrive at Georgia Southern? Those first couple of weeks of college can be difficult for some people as they transition into a completely new environment. You may want to think about how you will meet and make new friends. Often this takes a realization that you need to take some risks- for example, being the first on to initiate social contact or participating in activities for new students. How will you go about making new friends? How will you go about initiating new conversations? How will you overcome your worries about what others are thinking?
If living on campus, going to college is often the first time that a student leaves home. The student and family might need to negotiate some new rules. How often should one call? Is it okay to talk about how one is doing in school? What happens if the student is not doing well either academically or socially? How often should the student go home? Starting to talk about these new ‘rules’ will make this transaction easier for the entire family.
Students often tell us that their best friends are those they meet their first year in the residence hall. Residence halls can be fun and exciting. One of the changes for many students is that living in the residence hall requires them to SHARE their room or living space. You may want to begin to think about how you negotiate in order to make living in this new home as positive as possible. What boundaries do you want to set? How will you go about having hard conversations? How will you resolve conflict if you don’t get along with your roommate(s)?
You will, in many ways, be on your own. How are you going to handle this new freedom? Will you go ‘wild’ or will you find balance between fun and academic requirements? Think about your goals and how you want to achieve them while on your own.
The staff at the Counseling Center is dedicated to helping students with a variety of concerns, from everyday problems to more serious mental health issues. We offer individual and group counseling, workshops, outreach programs, and more!
Some of the most common concern that have led students to use our services are anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, educational issues, self-esteem, personal growth, loneliness and career planning. Other reasons may have to do with stress, concentration problems, life purpose and direction, eating concerns, low self-confidence, sexual identity, decision making, family conflicts, self-defeating behaviors, abuse, trauma, etc.
Counseling can be an opportunity to talk about issues that are of concern to you with an objective person who can help you develop skills and view situations in ways that may enable you to be more effective in managing life’s challenges down the road.
Also check out our resource library for a wealth of information and resources.
Last updated: 1/5/2021