Navigating Collegiate Experiences
University students face a variety of transition issues throughout their college years, but particularly when they first come to campus. These challenges include striving to fit in, adjusting to new academic demands with less oversight from teachers and parents, a desire to be independent, and pressure to select an academic focus that will be fulfilling and that will promote success in their futures.
While many adjust to change relatively smoothly, many do not. It is during times of transition, such as starting college, that many students report a heightened sense of isolation and loneliness. Many students believe that they are the only ones that are not fitting in. It is not uncommon for students struggling with change to believe that others do not care about them. We know that students who develop a strong sense of community at college are most likely to be retained and to graduate. Those who struggle with these transitions are at greater risk of mental health concerns, substance abuse issues, and attrition.