Succeeding (and staying safe) in college is about more than just grades

College may just be the most exciting time in our lives. It’s a whole new world from parents and teachers and the long-awaited freedom that most teenagers die for. It is an opportunity to prove yourself, try new things, and become a new person.

However, in college as in any stage of life, you’ll have to deal with some uncomfortable and potentially stressful people, places, and events. Some are harmless, like an annoying roommate, yet others are more dangerous, like crime on your college’s campus. While these issues might seem inevitable, preparing for them mentally can help you confront these collegiate challenges in a smart, cool, and collected manner– giving you the ability to move on to what’s important– succeeding at school and having fun.

Threat #1: The Crazy Roommate

Unless you select a roommate you already know, (and the jury’s still out on whether that’s a good idea) you’ll likely be sharing space with a complete stranger come the start of your first semester– and that can be a good thing, or a very bad thing. In the best match-ups, you and your roommate could be inseparable– but at worst, you might go weeks without talking to them, or worse, get in heated arguments or fights on a regular basis.

Even if you decide to look for a potential roommate on Facebook or another, school-specific digital platform, (which is a good idea) you never know how a person is really going to behave until you live with them. However, you might as well try to find a roommate who has similar tastes in wake up and sleeping times, acceptability of guests and loud music, and other important dorm room habits.

Hopefully, you and your roommate will get along, but if not, that’s okay– you’ll survive. Like many other college experiences, having a less-than-perfect roommate can be a character-building experience if you let it. Even if you don’t agree with their opinions, try to hear your roommate out anyway and see if you can come to an agreement about the points of contention.

Threat #2: Stalker on Campus

For this, we must get serious. Crime on college campuses is a serious problem, and many students, teachers, staff, and visitors across the country are harmed by its effects. Luckily, college campuses are still usually very safe– if you take precautions.

If a crime or serious suspicious activity has been reported on campus, make sure you stay inside and follow the instructions of university police and other campus safety personnel. It’s also good idea to make sure you’re signed up to receive public safety texts from your college or university police department. Most college police departments send mass texts to students when a serious criminal event may be occurring on campus. You’ll most likely be signed up automatically, but if you aren’t, it’s a good way to stay informed of potential dangers on campus.

Threat #3: The Mean Professor

Even though this technically is inside the classroom, we’re adding it because students can easily be affected outside the classroom by what goes on inside it. If you’re dealing with a professor that just seems to have it out for you, it can cause you serious anxiety and self-doubt– but only if you let it.

Unlike in high school, college teachers have a lot more freedom to grade you, test you, judge you, and talk to you like adults– and that’s usually a good thing. When it doesn’t seem like it is, just think of it as a learning experience. You’ll probably have to deal with bosses you don’t like during your career, and this is a good way to learn how to deal with people you clash with– without losing your job.

Threat #4: Peer Pressure

College is full of potentially amazing opportunities– but it’s also filled with serious risks. Not all college students share the same goals and values as you, and may be engaged in unhealthy behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault, academic dishonesty, and other unethical and illegal activities.

You can’t control what others do in college, (or in life) but you can choose who you hang out with and what you do– which is ultimately what counts. Yes, you have more freedom than you did in high school, but if you’re not careful, that can simply become the freedom to make the wrong choices. Don’t just think about today– think about what you want to accomplish several weeks, months, and even years down the line and make sure your behaviors reflect those goals on a daily basis.

College can be tough (but so are you)

In college, many students are forced for the first time to make complex choices independent of parents, siblings, and other close family members. Whether you’re just starting your first year— or you’re looking forward to starting this fall, it’s important to keep a few things in mind at college: be yourself, stay true to your values, work hard, stay safe, and most importantly, have fun.

To learn more about different safety tips, tricks, and advice for you and your family, contact Avante Insurance today for a free consultation.