Once you get that acceptance letter in the mail, you feel as though the hard part is finally over. SAT, ACT, endless amount of stress on what college to not only apply to, but to then choose the one that you love the most. It’s a daunting feeling that lingers over you for the last two years of high school. After finally picking out the school you’re attending, you feel so much more relaxed. Then once August rolls around, new anxieties may begin to creep into your mind. You may begin to start thinking “will I have enough friends?” ,“what’s the social scene going to look like?”, or “will I like my roommate?” Everyone tells you that college is the best four years of your life. But what they forget to tell you is how emotionally draining it can be.
For most of us, like myself, we’ve been in the same town for the majority of our lives. Therefore, we have gone to the same grammar and high school as your best friends for years. I for one thought that college was going to be different. I was ready to be independent and be my own person. Even though I knew that I wasn’t going to be with my friends everyday like I used to, I didn’t think it would be that hard. Oh, how I was wrong.
I’ve dealt with anxiety my whole life, but it didn’t start to affect me until move-in day. It’s easy to just say “put yourself out there” or “try to knock on some doors and meet people” but doing either of those things all alone can be absolutely mortifying. It’s a weird thing to go from knowing everyone at your high school, to knowing absolutely nobody. You miss the security you had before, and how comfortable you were. So over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying different things to try and deal with the anxiety one may feel while being away at school. Change is never easy.
First things first, never stay in bed. If you’re feeling anxious, the last thing you want is to sit in your bed. Start doing simple things to get your mind off of what’s making your anxious. Make your bed, brush your teeth, take a shower or pick out a nice outfit for the day. What’s helped me a lot lately is making a list of all of the things you want to get done for the day. Even if it’s silly tasks like calling your mom or doing your laundry, crossing these things off your list will make you feel like you accomplished something. Second, try not to be alone. Being alone gives you time to get in your head, and it will make you feel so much worse. Get involved. Look for things around campus to attend, it’s hard to go somewhere alone, but be open to different possibilities. Once you do, you will meet so many more people. And hey, you never know, they could be in the same position you’re in! Thirdly, try to start writing your thoughts down. Some people hate writing as its hard to express yourself with words, but honestly writing down your feelings can be very therapeutic. Give it a shot, maybe if it isn’t writing, try something new, it could help you more than you think. Lastly, if your emotions seem too hard to deal with at times, and you’re afraid to talk to those close to you, your school has therapists on campus that can help you, they take walk-in appointments if you truly need it. It’s hard sometimes to lay all of your feelings out there, especially to a stranger. Many people are embarrassed about going to therapy but, putting yourself first will benefit you in the long run. This chapter of your life can be difficult no matter if you’re a freshman or upperclassman.
In this day in age, we are more connected than ever with social media. Seeing Snapchat stories, and Instagram posts of people out having fun might be discouraging. Don’t let it bother you. Everyone at one time or another will be in the same position you’re in. YOU CAN and YOU WILL get through it. Whatever it might be, you will achieve the outcome you want. This experience will help you become stronger, and someday you’ll be able to help someone that’s in the same position you were once in. Everyone is capable of building yourself back up, no matter how hard it might be.