Your first semester in college will be overwhelming.  There is no doubt about it.  Your ability to succeed is not the concern – your passion and your persistence will help you dominate your first semester.  There are other factors, however, that are more concerning. Whether it be due to school or due to unfortunate family circumstances, you will encounter barriers that obstruct your first semester from running smoothly.  In order to cope with factors like feeling homesick, stressed or upset, I suggest you do the following:

  1. Therapy.  Do not!  I repeat.  Do not spend your money on a therapist.  Instead, use your phone.  I called my mother every day.  Yes, everyday!  Sometimes, when I was really busy, we would just text.  I might be crazy, but hearing her voice kept me sane.  When I had a problem at school, I would call her for advice.  Although she was thousands of miles away, she managed to make it all better by simply saying, “No te preocupes, mija. Todo te va a salir bien.”
  2. Run, play, dance.  Sometimes, your brain needs a break from studying.  Running, playing basketball, and dancing salsa kept me in control.  Everyday, I would participate in one of these activities to compensate myself for studying.
  3. Movies!  When in doubt, watch a movie.  Throughout my first semester, I would cuddle with my pillow giraffe and watch movies.  By doing this, I was able to clear my mind for an hour or two.  After watching a film, I was energized to keep working.

Of course, each person handles their first semester challenges differently.  What I suggested above, are potential solutions to your difficulties.

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