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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

**This is an opinion piece, nothing in this post should be taken as professional advice.**

It can be hard to enjoy new experiences, like coming to college, when anxiety gets the best of you. When I first came to JMU, I found myself hyper focused on everything that could go wrong and all the people I would miss. So instead, let’s discuss some ways you can focus on the excitement instead of the bad. 

If you are a homebody or really close with your family, hanging up pictures of them close to where you sleep can be helpful. I had a small cork board above my dorm bed where I put a few pictures of family and friends from home. This can be a helpful tip for those graduating college as well. Any big move feels more secure when you have physical reminders of the people who helped you get where you are. 

When coming to college, missing your pets can be the number one anxiety inducer. So, visit your local SPCA or pet store to cuddle furry friends. It has been proven that time with animals manages anxiety, relieves work-related stress and increases productivity. Not only are you helping yourself, but spending time with them makes them happy too! Seems like a win-win to me.

Make a vision board to remind yourself of your future goals! Not only is art a therapeutic way to handle stress and anxiety, but it gives you something to visualize when school or life feels overwhelming! This can also be a great togetherness activity for new friends or roommates. 

Remember that there are resources to help when you feel like this. Contact your university counseling center for resources concerning mental health or academic help.

Nicole Bell is a fourth-year writing, rhetoric, and technical communication major with a women, gender, and sexuality studies minor. She is always with her cats, Doja Cat and Post Malone, and puppy, Aspen. She daydreams about when she will live in NYC.