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Adjusting to College

The Total Health Center welcomes you to Marlboro College. We hope that your transition here has been relatively painless, but for those who are struggling with this adjustment we’d like to say this: it is normal, and there is nothing wrong with you.

Even at Marlboro, where it appears that everyone feels relaxed and at home, some people do struggle with adjusting to campus life. Even positive life changes can produce stress and lead to varying emotions including sadness, loneliness and anxiety. If you are experiencing any of these, we want you to know that you are not alone and that there are resources available to support you through this period. Usually time does help, but here are a few other suggestions:

  • Reach out to others in your dorm. You are likely to find that you are not the only one who is sad or anxious. Your RA is a good resource to talk to and can help you figure out how to cope. He or she may very well have felt similar his or her freshman year.
  • Join activities on campus that appeal to you. These activities don’t have to be a perfect match but can still help you meet people who may have similar interests. For example, the OP does a wide variety of fun, healthy activities to keep you fit, busy and involved.
  • Make an extra effort to take care of yourself; including making time to eat well, exercise and avoid abuse of alcohol or other drugs. Substance abuse can easily cloud your judgment during this very vulnerable time and add to your emotional difficulties.
  • Develop a manageable schedule, including identifying your optimal place and time of the day to study.
  • Adjust your expectations if things are not working out as planned. For example: your roommate might not be your best friend after all, and you may need to initiate conversations about conflict over personal space and living habits. Give yourself time to adjust. Relationships take time; it helps to recognize that many of you have left friendships that have formed over many years.
  • Get to know your professors and your advisor. They are a great group and will be invaluable to your finding fulfillment in the pursuit your studies.
  • Call home and outside friends for support and validation when you need to. There is nothing wrong with seeking support from people who know you.
  • Use your resources. The Total Health Center is available free of charge to any student around any issue. Don’t feel that you have to have a serious problem before you walk in. It’s okay just to ask to talk to someone, and all our services are confidential. Christine the Office Manager is available and can be reached at or 802-258-9335.


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)