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Overcoming First Day Jitters


 The prospect of going to college is usually an exciting one.  You finally get to choose an area of education to focus on that will lead you to your career!  But it’s completely normal for that excitement to be accompanied by “the jitters”.  The challenge is to manage those jitters effectively so that you can enjoy all that college has to offer.

I can’t promise the nerves will magically disappear, but I can assure you with a great deal of confidence – as can thousands of students who have gone before you – that there are countless resources and supports available to help you manage the stresses of transitioning to a new environment and new challenges.

Here are some things you can do to help minimize your jitters.

  1. If you‘ve been told silly stories about post-secondary classes being massive and professors not knowing their students, put those stories in the recycle bin where they belong because they are pure fiction. We are invested in helping you succeed and want to get to know you! 
  1. Come to your program orientation – it will help with #1 above! Don’t blow it off because it’s not an official class – even if this is not your first rodeo.  If you’re in a new program, there are new faculty and new peers to meet and connect with.  There is a lot of evidence to suggest that students who make personal connections early are more likely to succeed than those you don’t. 
  1. If for some reason you cannot go to your orientation, make an effort – even if it’s hard for you – to introduce yourself to your faculty and your peers at the first opportunity. There will be many new and potentially uncomfortable things you have to do in college.  The more you do these things, the easier they become. 
  1. Let panicking and freaking out be the LAST things you do, not the first if you’re lost trying to find a classroom or confused about something related to the college or your program. If you go to your orientation and make some connections, then you’ll be lost and confused together – it’s always easier if someone else is along for the ride :-).





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Kathleen Stewart

Parent, cart-wheeler, teacher, marathoner.

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