"The transition to college is naturally uncomfortable," says Harlan Cohen, author of "The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College." "Because of technology, you can stay in touch with the people who love you the most, and it has become so easy to use that as a crutch. It's really easy to get caught behind the fifth wall of technology, which isolates students."I will bet that worry warts said the same thing when telephones became prevelant in dorm rooms.
For the incoming crop of college students, who can't recall life before the Internet and cellphones, that's a particular trap. Through social networking sites, instant messaging and other forms of e-communication, they'll figure out which roommate is bringing the microwave and whether or not to steer clear of politics. And when times get tough, they'll rest assured that they can call an old friend, text a quick question or even set up a webcam for a date with their hometown honey.
But that, psychologists and college life experts say, may leave them less emotionally available to confront new challenges, test their beliefs or engage in serious introspection -- what college was once thought to be about.
"Too often," Cohen says, "students are physically in one place but emotionally in another."
College life is tough, but the "experts" often forget that teenagers are highly adaptive creatures. Today's freshmen will adapt and will make due. They will form life long friendships and they will retain their friendships from high school--isn't that a good thing?
The only things I fear about freshmen in college are the "Freshman Fifteen" weight gain because of poor diet, binge drinking, and poor academic quality and rigor in their studies--pretty much the same thing parents worried about 50 years ago.