How to Overcome the Fear of Going to College

There are many things to fear about college: gaining the “freshman 15“, not making any friends, getting lost, failing your classes, and homesickness.

The key to conquering your college fears is to face them head on, realizing that your imagination can fuel a potential fear that may not actually be real. The more you surround yourself with all things related to college, the more real (and less scary) it will seem.

Spend time with college students.

The more time you spend with current college students, the more you will realize that they are just like you. They laugh at the same jokes, enjoy the same food and music, and share your fear of the unknown.

By hanging out with college students, you will gain valuable tips on how to study and still have a social life, how to meet new people, and how to succeed at academics.

Better yet, spend time with students who currently attend your college. Ask them where to find the best food, which dorm is the coolest, and which professors to avoid.

Visit the college.

Spending time on campus will help “de-mystify” the experience of going off to college. Finding the cafeteria, library, and bookstore will prepare you for your first day of class.

After spending a few hours or days on campus, everything will feel a little less new once September rolls around.

Talk with a current student by phone or email.

If your college is located across the country and visiting it is not an option, ask the college if they offer a mentoring program in which existing students are available to answer questions about the campus or about student life.

Think about other fears you have conquered.

  • Remember how you felt before you started high school?
  • How about the night before the first day of your first job?
  • How did you conquer your fears in those scenarios?
  • What lessons did you learn that can help you battle your fears about college?

Spend time with family and friends.

When you finally get to college, you will probably wish you had spent less time worrying and more time enjoying people you love. The days and weeks before college are a great time to make memories with people you may not see again for a long time. Plus, some of your family and friends may have attended college and could shed some light on your fears.

We tend to fear what we don’t fully understand. The more you learn about college and visualize yourself enjoying it, the less fears you will have when you finally get there.

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