Maintaining Balance

Adjusting to College

What is considered a transition or a transitional time?

A transition can be generally defined as a period of time in which an aspect of your life changes in a way that requires adjustment and coping.

The college experience is filled with transitional times, some of which can be exciting and some of which can be stressful and challenging.

Some examples of transitions experienced by college students are:

  • The various stages of the college experience (adjust from high school to college, from lower classman to upper classman, and even declaring a major)
  • Living on your own for the first time
  • Starting a new job/career
  • Beginning or ending a significant relationship


What can you expect while you are going through a transition?

While every person will experience a transition differently, it is generally common for someone to experience feelings of: stress, excitement, anticipation, anxiety, concern, tension, pressure, fear, confusion, and sadness for example.

There is no “normal” way to experience a period of transition; whatever you are feeling is unique to your circumstances and is to be expected in times of transition.

  • Some tips for managing transition:
  • Take care of yourself-don't neglect your basic needs and your self care behaviors.
  • Eat regularly; try for healthy meals and avoid stress eating.
  • Sleep well; allow your body the time to recharge.
  • Be patient with yourself as you learn and adjust to the changes occurring around you.
  • Learn to ask for help