You’ve finally made it to campus after a much-awaited college search and you are practically jumping with excitement. We get it!
We experienced the same excitement when it was our turn to head to campus years ago, and we see it from most of our students year after year.
But, one of the first things you might notice is that college is different from high school – very different.
While you may be loving the newfound freedoms that come along with living on your own, potentially hundreds or thousands of miles away from your parents, you might also find that there are some challenges that you could use some additional support.
Luckily, college campuses have much experience in helping students through the transition and many other challenges they may face while in school, so they’ve developed tons of resources to help. Each college campus is different, but there are many similar resources available.
Here is a guide to resources typically available on college campuses. At your institution, they may have a name that is different, so don’t be discouraged if at first, it seems as though your campus doesn’t have one. It’s important to ask around and describe what you’re looking for.
1. Ahealth center
If you begin to feel ill while on campus, you’re going to want to visit the campus health center. Like any doctor’s office, you’ve been to, you will find qualified professionals to help diagnose and treat any illnesses you have. If you receive allergy injections or need any other type of immunizations, this is likely where you will go. Many campus health centers also have an on-site pharmacy, making it easy for students without cars to get the medications they need.
2. A mental health or counseling center
If you are struggling with your mental health or just want someone to help you process this major transition in your life, the counseling center is where to go. At some institutions this is part of your health center, but others operate it as an entirely separate entity. Here you will find the support of all types of qualified mental health professionals who can help you in a safe, confidential environment.
3. Academic Advisor
When you have questions about your degree plan or need to know what courses to take next semester, your academic advisor is the first person you should talk to. He or she will also be able to help you find other resources on campus that can provide support for a multitude of scenarios, like the writing center, tutoring center, and more.
4. Tutoring center
If you are struggling academically, you should be able to find the help you need at the tutoring center on campus. Here you will find undergraduate and graduate students who have excelled in the areas in which they tutor. Some schools have a separate writing center for writing help, but others may place these resources together.
5. Student success center
When you’re in need of assistance with non-academic skills like organization, time management, and more, the student success center is likely to be where you find those resources. If you can’t find what you are looking for, we recommend reaching out to your academic advisor or residence hall assistant.
6. Resident hall assistant
When you don’t know where to turn, your RA is a great resource. RAs have been trained extensively in campus resources and they offer a wealth of knowledge of the resources available on campus. They can also help you overcome any roommate issues or struggles you face with others on your residence hall floor or building.
7. Career Center
Just about every campus out there has a career center. This is where you can go if you’re looking for on or off-campus employment, want to learn about internship opportunities, need to update your resume, and much more. This is also the best place to go if you decide that you want to change your major and aren’t sure what else you’d like to study.
8. Financial aid
One thing that is often difficult for new college students to understand is how financial aid works. If you are unsure of your award or whether you qualify for a work-study program, this is the place to go.
Whatever struggles you find yourself facing in your time at college, don’t panic! Know that there are many, many resources available to you and that there are many people on campus who are truly there to help.
Remember, we aren’t meant to figure everything out alone! Be sure to lean on your support system and seek out the resources you need.