Common fears/problems of first year students

Students entering college bring with them a good many negative self-fulfilling prophecies ... widespread fears and problems include the following:

  • Fear of freedom, of not being able to manage your time without the family around;
  • Depression;
  • Fear that college will be too difficult;
  • Homesickness;
  • Lack of good study habits;
  • Difficulty in understanding professors;
  • Fear of competition from brighter, younger, or older students;
  • Fear of disappointing your parents;
  • Roommate problems;
  • Worry over choosing the wrong major;
  • Shyness;
  • The expectation that you may have to cheat to survive;
  • Fear of being perceived as a klutz or some other type of undesirable by other students.

If some of these concerns sound familiar, take comfort: Most other entering students share the exact same fears. Your concerns are normal transition pains. Remember also that each of the worries is attached to a negative self-fulfilling prophecy that you can exchange for a positive one.

(Taken from Your College Experience: Strategies for Success Authors Gardner & Jewler, 1992, p. 9.)