Helping Advisees Adjust to MIT
Your experience can help your advisees transition to their first year at MIT. Talk about your own adjustments when you arrived on campus and how you dealt with common issues.
Getting Along with Roommates
This is particularly challenging for freshmen who might have never lived away from home before coming to MIT or might never have had to share a room with someone else. In these cases, communication is key if roommates are going to survive together. Some of the topics that new roommates should discuss include:
- Set up and organization of room
- Sleep schedules
- Clealiness expectations
- Borrowing and lending
- Social expectations
- Study habits and schedules
- Acceptable noise levels
For more tips on roommate issues:
It is difficult to find a balanced college life at MIT. Especially freshmen are often shocked to find out how challenging it the academic rigor can be. You help your advisees recognize if they are stressed and help them find ways of minizing its effects by encourging them:
- Reassure that all MIT students experience stress
- Encourage them to take time-out
- Eat healthy
- Exercise regularly
- Socialize with friends
- Avoid aiming for perfection
For more tips on reducing college stress:
The first step to eating healthily is being informed. Some students have never prepare meals for themselves prior to coming to MIT. Tips on eating nutritiously might seem basic ito you, but be unfamiliar to some freshmen. Without prying, you might tactfully talk about the impact of poor eating habits on academic performance and moods. Start the conversation by relaying your own experience or that of a friend's.
For tips on a healthy diet and better nutrition:
The excitement of college life may turn into apprehension and a longing for familiar places and people at home for freshmen. Homesickness is a common occurrence for many students, especially first-year students. Here’s how you can help your advisees ease through this difficult transition.
International students may experience the most difficulty since they may not be able to go home, even during the November and December holidays. If any of your advisees are international, you can encourage them to connect with other students from their country by joining student organizations on campus and staying in contact with the International Students Office, mit.edu/iso/. Here are three tips to help homesick advisees:
- Avoid isolation by talking to someone about their feelings.
- Stay in contact with their family and friends at home.
- Make time for recreation, sleep, good nutrition and regular exercise.
Finally, stay in contact with them and direct them to resources that can help them get through tough times. If you notice any of signs of serious emotional difficulties (i.e. depression, anxiety), immediately direct them to MIT Mental Health and Counseling, Student Support Services, or MIT Chaplains. On call resources include Nightline 617-253-1212 and Dean-On-Call 617-253-1212.