College: Getting in the Right Frame of Mind

Many students tend to struggle in their first semester of college, for a number of reasons. Struggle is normal, and remember that you are not alone! Struggling and figuring out the process of how to be successful in college will help make you stronger and be more prepared for life during and after college.

Some common areas where students experience challenge are:


We all know that figuring out your finances is important, and that it can be a stressful topic. Check out this lighthearted video of a real UWM student who reminds us about the mishaps that occur to all of us at one time or another.


The struggle is real. No, really, it is. You have the potential to be successful during your time at UWM, but you will probably encounter some kind of challenge during your academic career. How you handle that challenge is what is most important! Get help! Watch Jess, Arli, Kyle, and Savannah talk about their challenges and give you advice.

Meeting People:

Everyone feels uncomfortable meeting new people, but relationships will help you feel welcomed and at home at UWM. Watch a few students who have never met before put themselves out there and see how they describe their experiences.

Using Campus Resources:

Faculty members and tutoring are two of the best ways to make sure you are doing well in your classes. Even if you were successful in high school, it’s a good idea to connect with these resources. In this video clip, a few students reiterate the importance of getting help in college.

Need Help?

If you need help, you should schedule an appointment with your Academic Advisor, and you can also reach out to the Student Success Center. We can get you connected with some great resources.

What is resilience?

Rather than an innate characteristic, resilience is:

  • a pattern of learned behavioral responses to stress and hardship
  • a way of being in the ebb and flow of life, as stress rises and falls
  • a process through which you’ll learn to be your best self

We can all learn to exhibit more resilience through having a sense of purpose, cultivating positive emotions, and developing healthy connections.

Quick tips on developing resilience

  • Focus on your relationships
  • Get exercise
  • Make time to relax and have fun
  • Eat well
  • Sleep
  • Help those around you
  • Get outside
  • Dedicate time to the things that mean the most to you

No matter where you come from or who you are becoming, you can develop your resilience

While some students enter relatively “failure deprived,” others enter college having battled through many hardships and failures along the way. For some students, taking academic risks seems like a privilege that they have not been afforded. We acknowledge the differences in life experiences we all bring to the UWM and we feel that our collective diversity of experience is a strength at our institution.