When girls and boys are going off to college, there may be some anxiousness about starting a new school. If they live on campus, they can easily get overwhelmed with the process and what to expect. But, having girls or boys go away to a large city college can be even more stressful. Today, we will talk about girls, particularly going away to a college in the city. I hope you and your daughter get some tips out of my interview with my daughter.
We are about an hour outside of a major city. We have farms. We commonly have deer that can easily cross the road and cause accidents—birds of prey that can swoop down and take small animals and rodents. Clearly, we are not in a city at all.
When I grew up, I was only 15 minutes from downtown, and my "street smarts" were a lot more attuned to where I lived. But, my daughter did not have that. (Nor did my son, for that matter.) We live in a lovely area with lower than the national average crime, and houses are farther apart from one another.
So, when my daughter told us she wanted to go to school in the city, we were a little nervous. My husband was from the city, and we visited my mother-in-law who lived in the city, and the kids were attracted to the hustle and bustle of city life.
While spending time with my daughter, who is now a junior in college, I asked her to give me feedback for this post. While she felt that she didn't have as much advice since she started school right before COVID happened, she did give me some help with this post. Read on and get some advice for your daughter.
Daughters Going Away to the City for College Tips
Empower Yourself not Frighten Yourself.
Remember that going to a new college; you need to be aware of your surroundings. Be sure to stay in safe areas on campus until you figure out where there are safe neighborhoods. Just in case, carry Mace/Pepper Spray keychain with you in case you need to use it. My daughter did not need it or use it, but it helped her feel less nervous.
Have a cellphone with you at all times is important. They should know how to call for an emergency on their cellphone. Here is the page on how to do it on an Apple iPhone. If they have an Android phone, here are the instructions.
Be Yourself but Explore a New You.
Be open to different experiences. Pick ones that are a little stretch for you. Stay away from ones that make you feel uneasy or overwhelmingly nervous.
Eat Healthy Meals and Snacks.
This is one that I think every first-year student forgets to do until it is too late. When we are stressed, we are more likely to eat comfort foods. However, those comfort foods do not help us feel strong and healthy most of the time. Some options for healthy snacking are apples, berries, and low sugar power bars. Feel free to check out our post for a complete list: EASY HEALTHY SNACKS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS DORM LIFE
Be Aware of Your Stress Level.
Stress can affect us in many ways. And, we find out "those ways" when we are in college. Using breathing techniques to help calm down and think more clearly is very helpful. Visit this post called "How to Reduce Stress With Breathing Exercises" from Very Well Mind for tips.
Stay active and interact with others.
Go to places like the gym and student activities, to interact with other students outside of classes. Reach out to people that are in classes and ask them to meet up at a college-run activity. Loneliness is common during the first semester, so reaching out is important. Get a group of more than three people together and go to activities on campus like bingo.
Keep in mind that Girls Going to College need to stay safe.
Keep in mind that being safe is also a priority. Don't walk around at nighttime. Stay on brightly lit streets. Always walk with at least two other people. Walk around when everyone else is walking around during the day. Don't leave the campus boundaries. Know exactly where the campus boundaries are and where they are not.
Volunteering will help others and yourself.
Being a part of something bigger than oneself is what college is all about. Taking part in volunteering will help with that, and in the process meet like-minded individuals.
Explore the City in a Group.
Explore the city in a group during the daytime. Make it a point to be a tourist on Saturdays. Going to different popular landmarks allows for exploration and helps one feel comfortable in the city for the next four years. Schoolwork can wait till Sunday or Saturday night.
Stay connected with Mom and Dad.
Calling mom and dad once a week will allow for a way to vent about what is happening in the dorm or class. This helped my daughter when dealing with issues. But, as a parent, you need to let go of the conversation after you hang up with her. Moms and Dads want to help, but, in some cases, we can't, and they need to figure it out for themselves. Allow your daughter to learn through the process.
Create a Freshman Binder for Your Daughter
Giving your daughter one place to hold all the necessary paperwork that may be floating around her bedroom for her new life in the city is super helpful and appreciated. While they may not use it often, it is a way to help your daughter without helping your daughter. Visit how I made my daughter's DIY Freshman Year Binder.
Stay organized in your dorm.
Keeping the dorm less cluttered will make for easy clean-up and management. My daughter kept bringing stuff and buying new things that by the end of the school year, we had to use two cars to get all her stuff. Remember, stuff is just stuff. Bring things that comfort, but not too much. It can get out of hand in a small dorm room. Visit our posts about helpful organizing essential for dorm life.
Keep using an Academic Planner.
A great academic planner will save you every time. Whether you are a digital planner person or a paper planner person, have a system in place BEFORE going off to college. The digital planner works for most people. But, for visually and tactile people, a paper-based planner may be better for you. I particularly like the Order Out of Chaos academic planner (affiliate).
By sharing these tips with your daughter, you and her will feel more comfortable going away to college. I hope these girls going to college tips help you and your daughter go away to a city college more easily.
Soon I will be sharing tips for Boys going away to college for the first time. Stay tuned!!!
Join the conversation! Did you go to a city college? What tips would you add to the ones above that would help a freshman girl? Please comment below. We would love to hear from you.