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Reminders For That First-Week Overwhelmed Feeling

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lafayette chapter.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed upon your return to campus, know that you’re not alone. Transitions are HARD, and these past few days have been a significant shift. Be kind to yourself! Here are five things to keep in mind on the days you have that “time to drop out” feeling. 

  1. It’s okay to take time alone. I know that FOMO can scare you out of taking an hour or two to rest. Think about it this way, though: if you’re with a group of people, and all you can think about is getting to bed, you’re not present in the moment anyway. Take a minute to recharge your batteries, and return to the social shenanigans when you feel more up to it. You’re allowed to need space.
  2. Make time for a gentle activity that helps you feel calm. Even a 5-minute meditation video or quick YouTube-led stretch can work wonders on a tired mind.
  3. Make a list of everything you’ve done and need to do today: homework, errands, eating, showering, etc. Cross out what you’ve already completed, and visualize how much you’ve already accomplished! Then, decide on the next task to tackle. One thing at a time! You’re a human, not a machine. 
  4. Eat. Drink water. Make your bed. Wear clothes that make you happy. Decorate your dorm. Do the little things that make you—and the space you live in—feel like you.
  5. When I feel most overwhelmed, I turn to words that bring me comfort. It might really help: find lines from your favorite songs, books, or people which remind you that you are okay and that stress is temporary. On my desk, written on a sticky note, is this quote from John Green: “You are helpful, and you are loved, and you are forgiven, and you are not alone.” 

I wish you all the best in these first few weeks of college, and hope that your experience is lined with pockets of joy along the way! 

Laura Bedser

Lafayette '23

Hey there! I'm Laura, an English Writing and Religious Studies double major at Lafayette College. When I'm not in class or at a club meeting, you can find me writing, reading, enjoying time with friends, or studying in my favorite sun-lit corner of Skillman Library.