As the new school year beings, there are two distinct ways to get back into the college flow. One way is to try to keep the same schedule as last year or to make it as similar as possible. It can be anything from the same class times to the participation in clubs to whom you eat lunch with; the list goes on for returning students and staff. However, incoming freshmen and transfers are making their own schedule for class and trying to find clubs. Regardless of where you are in your college career, there is one thing that always affects us: fear.
There are phobias like the one I have, which is Athazagoraphobia; it is the fear of being forgotten after death. But there are things we fear that are not necessarily phobias. College is a time where you are being exposed to things you may have never seen back at home. Eventually, there will be one thing you will be afraid of by the end of the year. Here are some common fears that I had and that some new students at Oswego might have.
One common academic fear is being late to class, particularly a class that we enjoy. It is common for a majority of students to be late at some time or another. I would be afraid to miss any class because of the catch-up game I would have to play. This can be fixed by reading the attendance part of a syllabus. Most classes are structured in a manner where students lose one-third of a letter grade after a certain number of absences. Another reason this can be a fear is that new students to Oswego do not know where to go or underestimate how long it takes to get from point A to point B. This fear can easily be put to rest by walking the campus beforehand and timing yourself. Even though it may be a week into the year, someone could still have questions on where to go.
Another academic fear is not getting the grade you want, or simply failing a course. There will be times where that 88 percent should have been a 92 percent or a couple points were missed on a test because you forgot that one formula or you misinterpreted the directions. Going to your professor’s office hours can solve the fear of not making the grade you want. Talk with your professor if you do not understand something. It seems easy enough, but people do not go for a various number of reasons. If you explain why the answer you put down is correct in a polite and persuasive manner, then they may improve your grade, the key word being “may.” It will not work for a multiple choice question where you circled the wrong answer, just trust me.
There is one fear that I had during my first year here at Oswego that took me a while to get over, which is riding the bus into town. Hopefully by now, you know that the blue route takes you around campus and the green route takes you to Laker Hall. But what about the buses that take you to Price Chopper or anywhere else in town? The main fear I had was being lost in town and missing the bus or the last bus has run for the night and I might have to walk back. If you are new to Oswego, get a friend to walk with you downtown so you can see buildings and street signs in relation to everything else. When taking the bus, go with a friend and do it when you have time to spare. Eventually, you will get into a habit of using it for quick shopping trips.
One more fear that is odd, but real, is setting up your room. I know that it has already happened but I moved in early for all three of my years. There is a delicate balance of making your room comfortable and not preventing your roommate from doing what they want. Guests should feel that the room has some space to hang out. That is my top priority. As long as my bed is facing the right way, everything else will fall into place. Talk with your roommate if you both move in on the same day, and if not, keep your options open, it’s not always a bad idea.
As the year goes on, you will encounter situations that may leave you fearful, or at the very least, leave you asking questions. When things get out of control it will be up to you to get it back under control. Talk to your friends, family, advisers, professors and anyone who you think can help you when you need it most. There is no shame in having fears at college. After all, we are human.