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Preparing for Transitions

June 07, 2024 - 2 minute read

Transitioning to College

Most transitions produce some degree of anxiety, and college is no exception. There are many wonderful things to look forward to. Yet some concern, sadness, fear, or other emotions may arise within you – this is completely normal. You are entering into a new chapter you have never done before. So, be kind to yourself! It is okay not to have it all figured out. Support is available for you, and there are things you can do to help prepare for this transition.

Things to Consider Before You Transition to College

Chances are you will spend less time seeing and talking to your friends and family once you start college. Before you transition, consider spending quality time with the people you love.

Saying goodbye is hard, even if it is temporary. You may have to say goodbye to people, places, and things you love. You may be leaving a pet behind. Consider the memories you want to create before parting ways. That may look like having a party, meeting someone every day for lunch or a hike, or extra snuggling with your fur baby. What do you need to make the transition easier?

When packing, try to include some things that will bring you nostalgia. Your favorite blanket, the picture of your family, the dog toy, the air freshener used in your house, or the painting your friend made you. 

Think about how you will keep in contact with your family and friends. These connections are meaningful. Sharing your experiences and emotions with the people you are connected to will help you be reminded that you have a support system that cares for you. 

Things may look different once you transition. Maybe you used to text daily, and having a phone call or video chat once a week will work better once you start college. Maintaining the relationships you desire when you transition to college will take more intentionality and understanding. 

Try making new connections before your semester starts. See what communities/clubs you are interested in joining. Reach out to your roommates and start getting to know each other before moving in. Plan to participate in orientation and all the welcome events. Check your emails regularly to make sure you are not missing anything. Increased involvement and making connections can help you have a smooth transition. 

Your living arrangements will be different, which takes time to get used to. Consider what makes you comfortable and uncomfortable. Practice communicating these things with your new roommates. This is a great opportunity to practice boundaries and healthy compromise. Know your limits, what things you can be flexible with, and what is intolerable for you. Consider having grace for yourself and others who are transitioning around you. You’ve got this!

Read on for tips for taking care of yourself as you start college.


Aubreea Roberson is an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. She has an M.A. in Counseling from the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine. She has experience working with college students, Veterans, the Department of Mental Health (DMH), and private practice. Aubreea has provided individual, group, and family therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. She provides culturally competent care, utilizing trauma-informed and person-centered approaches in her work with clients. She loves serving at her church, traveling, and attending concerts with friends during her free time.

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