College Concerns

College can be a new, stressful, and difficult time. Students may face concerns with their academic work, worry about fitting in, or fall victim to procrastination and test anxiety. Click on the different sections below for more information.

Adjusting to College

Students may be more likely to struggle with the transition to college if they are away from home for the first time, have a history of difficult transitions to new situations, are the first in the family to attend college, have close friends back at home, or are concerned about a family member at home.

Some signs of homesickness include:

  • Calling home or asking to come home for visits more often than expected.
  • Expressing dissatisfaction with everything and everyone at the university.
  • Expressing a significant worry about classes.
  • Disengaging from social activities.
  • Talking about withdrawing from the university.
  • Frequently comparing their experiences to the experiences of other new students.

Coping Skills

  • Remember that you are not alone.
  • Be patient with yourself as you adjust to this significant life transition.
  • Text or email instead of calling parents, or try to think of the supportive or comforting messages they would give you.
  • Make an effort every day to talk to someone new.
  • Reach out to a high school friend to continue getting social support while developing new friendships.
  • Spend more time on campus rather than going home to family members on weekends.
  • Join a campus club, organization, or sport.
  • Remember, even students who look like they are making tons of friends are experiencing a transition as well and may be experiencing similar feelings of homesickness and anxiety.
  • Attend campus events to learn more about the various campus social groups to join.
  • Talk with people in your support network on or off-campus about your struggles or seek additional help.


  • The Counseling Center offers outreach events, individual counseling, and group counseling to help students adjust to the transition of college.
    • Services will be geared to both the adjustment process as well as managing symptoms resulting from the transition.
    • To begin services at the Counseling Center, please email or call 724-357-2621.
  • Consider talking with your Residence Life staff about how to develop a larger support network, get involved on campus, navigate roommate challenges, and learns new adult tasks.

Academic Concerns

The transition into college can be a difficult and demanding period. Students may find the workload overwhelming and have trouble keeping up with their classes, but there are ways to manage the workload and stress.

ACT has a collection of exercises that can help with academic concerns and confidence:

  • Building self-confidence
  • Dealing with setbacks
  • Overcoming pessimism
  • Reducing test anxiety

If you are struggling with a course, talk with your professor during office hours for extra help and guidance. Your professor is there to help; that's what the office hours are for! For further assistance, IUP Academic Support offers Walk-In Peer Tutoring.

Remember, the information in the following sections are only meant to serve as helpful suggestions. If you would rather talk with a counselor about your concerns, please schedule an appointment with the Counseling Center.

Test Anxiety

Even with confidence in your study skills, you may still experience test anxiety. This page provides some suggestions on how to cope with your test anxiety.


Putting off assignments and responsibilities is a common problem for many students. Contrary to popular belief, procrastination can be handled and avoided.

Maintaining a Balance

Finding the right balance in college is important to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed and unstressed. Read through for some general tips on how to maintain balance.

Homesickness Tips

What is homesickness? In a word, homesickness represents loss.