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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!