First of all, thumbs up for finishing high school. The transition from high school to college is a significant phase we all go through. So when you head to your college, one thing is crystal clear; you are saying goodbye to your comfort zone forever.
Adjusting to college life can be unsettling, and being away from parents and home gets trickier. It is lovely to feel all kinds of emotions. Sometimes you will feel overwhelmed with sadness and fear; the other times, you will be laughing. You will feel confused, as some things will go well while some may not.
Living in a hostel away from home is very different from the life you led at home. This newly found freedom strikes you with a jolt of responsibility. You have to share your room with a stranger, hence no privacy. You have to make your own decisions and choices.
You have to set a schedule for everything from laundry to studies. You have to maintain your budget and spend within the limits of your pocket. Whether your school is in a different city or a different country, the hassle of moving your stuff around has never gotten easier.
Hence, let us have a detailed look at them:
1. Finding suitable accommodation:
The on-campus accommodation is every student’s priority. However, it gets filled very quickly. So you will be left with the choice to look for other means of living outside the campus. Such accommodations are usually pricey.
We often see ads on Facebook and different groups that show pictures of houses and rooms available for rent. Mostly they are scams and ask for a lot of money as security deposits. As they are inexperienced, students tend to fall for such scams easily and
So it is imperative to look for an accommodation that is reliable and trustworthy.
2. Feeling of Not Fitting In:
This is common, regardless of what country you belong to or move to. There comes the point when you feel you’re an outsider and just don’t fit in, which is frustrating. Don’t let it get you down, and don’t be too serious about comments from others.
Once you adjust to the surroundings, it won’t matter and will get better through time. Do yourself a favor and find a local to be friends with. Spend time and understand the cultural norms to blend in as a local, and you’ll see the difference.
3. Language barrier:
Even if you moved to another state, there are still language barriers, particularly the accent. Some people understand different accents and relate to them better. But that doesn’t mean it’ll make your life challenging. You need time to understand and incorporate that accent in your way of speaking.
You can either take this experience as a learning opportunity or a setback, and we suggest the former. Spend time around the locals and become one of them. Have fun with the experience, and try not to bring any negativity with you in your dorm.
4. Struggling with the time zone factor:
Traveling and staying in contact with your loved ones living in different time zones is frustrating. It is very tiring, especially when you have to wake up in the middle of the night to contact your bank for a money transfer or talk to your family.
Hence you have to navigate time zones of the opposite sides of the planet. You always have to double-check which time zone is suitable for which country. Also, you can develop a habit of early morning or late evening calls. So try to remember the time difference. The earlier you get used to it, the better it is for you to cope.
5. Managing the finances:
Though you will put all of your efforts into setting up a budget, you will track your expenses throughout, but managing finances will sometimes get challenging. Most students don’t do part-time jobs, so running short on money is a classic problem. So be extremely sensitive about what you buy.
Try to spend money on your necessities, not your desires. A quick tip to avoid overspending is to leave your debit and credit card at home and carry a limited amount of cash. If you are planning for a part-time job, always double-check the rules around your student visa.
6. Sudden cultural shock:
As a foreigner, you don’t know the cultural norms and the unwritten rules. So let’s get one thing straight: you will make many mistakes and come across many awkward situations. So don’t be embarrassed and learn from those cultural misunderstandings.
Unfortunately, this cultural shock can make you anxious and homesick. Therefore, it is better to prepare for that. You can observe what others are doing; if you have any doubts, ask away. You will find so many people who will be happy to tell you about their cultural norms. They will enjoy sharing their insights.
However, several moving resources for students and parents can help you out and make it as painless as possible. So if you are a freshman or a transfer student, you may face several challenges adjusting to the new environment. But the best way to mitigate them is to be prepared.
We can promise you that your college days will be the best days of your life. But we will also say that things don’t happen instantaneously. They take time to fall in the right place. Nothing will be perfect and as per your plan. You might not be used to the new environment. So be patient because stressing out will not make things go easier on you.
Make sure you get enough sleep. Manage your time; don’t get swamped up with studying, and take out some fun time too. The problems mentioned before seem intimidating, but don’t worry; they sound harder than they are.
Those who have studied away from home have been unsuccessful at some point. So if you push through the challenges, things will eventually work out. Even if things don’t go your way, you will have many stories to tell your friends and family and laugh them off.