Leaving home for college means you’ll be exploring a new place, making new friends and setting your own priorities. You’re going to face big changes in a small amount of time, which can be both exciting and intimidating.

Getting Help and Support

Although being in college means that you have new independence, it doesn’t mean you’re on your own. College is full of resources – professors, tutors, counselors and advisors – and help is available, but it’s up to you to ask for it.

If you find you can’t keep up with your course work or other responsibilities, it’s time to talk to someone; don’t wait until you get your midterm grades. College Students says that it took them a while to admit to themself that we needed support, “but once Thy did, it was amazing how helpful people were.”

Here are some of the many things you’ll be taking charge of in college.

 Managing Time

After he started college, freshman Nasir Ali realized, “I could wake up at 7 a.m. each day, could eat a steady supply of junk food, and had no one to harangue me about doing problem sets.” But this behavior resulted in a cycle of late-night homework sessions that led to “napping in the middle of a lecture on differential equations,” he says. Nasir Ali learned the hard way that managing your time well becomes even more important when you leave high school for college.

Schoolwork is a priority, but extracurricular activities, jobs and internships are important parts of your college life too. Saba, a college sophomore, says, “One of the best and worst things about college is that there are so many things to do besides taking classes.” You’ll have to make choices regularly about where to focus your energy.

Handling a Social Life

College also means a new social scene. You may be moving to a new place where you’ll know few people, if any. This is a great opportunity to make new friends and try new things. You can even reinvent yourself if you want to.

In high school, there’s a clear line between school life and home life. But when you go to college and live on campus, you are constantly among friends. So it’s important to balance having fun with the other parts of your life: studying, staying healthy and learning.