25 Biggest Fears of the Incoming College Freshman Class

The first day of class is just days away for many college campuses. That day can be very emotional for any student. However, there may be no one more emotional than the incoming freshmen. The first day of college is more than just attending a new class, it’s entering a whole new world.

It’s been 12 years since I had my first day of classes. Many of my biggest fears came true that day. I couldn’t find a place to park, I got lost, and I was very late to my first class. It was a public speaking course. The first assignment was to give a quick speech about the person sitting next to you. My partner had very little time to interview me as I was so late. Her speech went something like, “I can only assume she’s not a very punctual person given she was so late today.” That got her a laugh and me a red face.

Looking back, I find it funny, too. But that day I was ready to cash in my chips and assume college wasn’t for me. Our emotions have a way of getting the best of us. By my final semester I had made many more mistakes, been late a million more times, and still managed to get lost on campus after all those years. Those issues among a million others seemed to happen to everyone though, and after a few years of it, the fretting stopped and it was just understood that college is a dynamic environment. Everyone was trying to find their way, it wasn’t just me who struggled from time to time.

More than a decade later, I wondered what today’s freshmen were dealing with. What fears are keeping them up at night as they prepare for their first day. I asked several members of the class of 2016 and here’s what they said were their biggest fears:

1. Oversleeping
2. Being late to class
3. Gaining weight
4. Having belongings stolen
5. Losing a dorm key
6. Tests, quizzes, and finals
7. Being too stressed with homework
8. Inability to socialize or overcome shyness
9. Sharing space
10. Respectful roommates
11. Homesickness
12. Not being prepared for harder classes
13. Not having good study habits
14. Not getting along with my roommate
15. Not staying as close with old friends
16. Choosing the wrong college
17. Being too busy, overbooking
18. Losing scholarships
19. Going to the wrong class on the wrong day
20. Falling behind in my classes
21. Getting distracted trying to balance it all
22. Feeling overwhelmed
23. Getting lost in a new city
24. Lacking motivation
25. Calculus

It looks as though not much has changed since I was a freshman. This are pretty standard, time-tested fears that shouldn’t make you feel like an outsider on campus but a definite insider. To this year’s freshmen I say you’re not alone in your fears. Chances are the person sitting next to you on the first day is thinking the same thing. Take a few deep breaths and remember the brightest people in the world were in your shoes once. Everyone started college a little bit scared. You can do this.

Also Read:

The College Bucket List: 50 Things to do Before You Graduate

How Freshmen Can Start College on the Right Foot

Sorority and Fraternity Recruitment Guide

One Response to “25 Biggest Fears of the Incoming College Freshman Class”

  1. Joshua Villarreal says:

    Campus Safety Concerns for College Students:
    Self Defense at School

    Students and educators need to protect themselves from on campus dangers…
    Walking to night class, entering a badly lit parking lot or garage, or working late in a campus building. Tips for staying safe on campus include staying aware, not losing control by getting drunk, taking self-defense courses, using campus protection services and carrying some form of self-defense, such as pepper spray. Other self-defense items may require some training and special techniques. Pepper spray does not and completely incapacitates a would-be attacker. A spray in the face renders the recipient unable to see for at least 15 minutes, giving you time to escape and get help.
    Campus Safety Statistics
    Parents send their children off to college believing that campus security and dorm safety rules will protect them, but they’re vastly overrating the protection most schools provide. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) reports between 20 and 25% of women on campus are sexually assaulted sometime during their educational career; another 13% are stalked.
    Drinking increases campus crime…
    Freshman girls are especially at risk. They aren’t informed of the dangers on campus, and may attend parties where drinking and drugs comprise a strategy that often ends in rape. 90% of campus rape victims know the rapist; 80% physically resist the rapist, but are overcome. Of the women raped at college, 42% expect to be raped again.
    Underreported School Dangers
    Crime statistics in higher education are underreported. Schools don’t want the larger community to know. Parents and students are unprepared for the violent crime that’s common on campus. Women and men are mugged, beaten and robbed on university campuses. 65% of campus rapes are not reported to campus security.
    Protection & Prevention of Student Assult and University Crimes
    Prevention isn’t always possible; 71% of rapes are planned in advance. You can decrease your chances of being attacked by staying sober (75% of victims and rapists are drinking when rape occurs). Trust your instincts: most victims know their attackers. Stay tuned in to your feelings. If a date feels weird, or you’re being maneuvered into an isolated place, keep one hand on your pepper spray. If things get out of hand, don’t be afraid to use your pepper spray to protect yourself and stop your assailant.
    Pepper spray is easily carried in a purse, pocket or backpack: if you’re out alone or walking in any spot that may be unsafe, make it a habit to hold the spray in your hand. If you need it, you shouldn’t be fumbling for it!

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