Welcome (back) to college, Panthers! College can be an exhilarating time of beginning new classes, making new friends, reuniting with old friends, and pursuing academic goals. Whether you are a freshman, senior, or somewhere in between, college is a time where you begin carving your own path in life.

From choosing what to study, which clubs to join, who to spend your time with, and what hobbies and activities will fill your free time, college has a lot of freedoms to offer. While this is certainly exciting, it can also be overwhelming at times, because with freedom comes choice.

With so many choices to choose from, it can be difficult to know which path is right for you. That is perfectly normal and even expected at this point in your lives! It’s important to explore and develop your interests by trying new things and stepping outside your comfort zone. But what might this look like?

This semester you may dive into the deep end of the pool and find yourself getting overly involved in campus activities, clubs, and academic pursuits. If you’re involved in everything, there’s no risk of missing out on anything new and exciting, right?

Or you may find yourself teetering on the edge of the pool, because the numerous opportunities available are so dizzying that you find yourself stuck and decide against taking any steps forward to try new things. If you don’t try anything new, you aren’t running the risk of making the wrong choice, right?

Finding a balance between these opposite ends is key. As you acclimate to campus this fall, think about what that balance may look like for you. Consider starting slow by dipping a toe in the pool to test out the temperature of the water. You can always pull back or dive in deeper when you feel more comfortable.

As you carve your own path, know that that path will be full of twists, turns, and at times, dead ends. Your interests, hobbies, and priorities will shift as you create new experiences and meet new people. While this can be confusing and frustrating, know that it is part of the exciting journey of carving your own path.

Transitioning and adjusting to the new semester can feel overwhelming for both new and returning students but know that you are not alone. If you find yourself in need of additional support, reach out for help. The Student Counseling Center is here for you. Our center provides a variety of mental health and wellness services to assist you and other students in successfully reaching personal, academic, and career goals. Please take a moment to visit our website to learn more information about our services and support, as well as resources for psychological well-being. We are here to support you in your journey!

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