Freshmen-It's Okay Not to be Okay

My journey began on move-in day after my mom and sister helped me move into Willow Hall. At the time, I was not worried about college and being away from home. I was calm, but that quickly changed when my sister started crying in the parking lot. I thought, Why the hell is she crying? I’m twenty minutes away from home. Suddenly, I snapped into the realization that I will not be living at home, and I’d be living with strangers. What am I going to do? I thought I’ve always been the kid that would rather stay at home on the weekends to write or draw, but now I know I will not be home for a while.

After my mom and sister left, my thoughts raced in my head over and over again as my roommate and I formed a friendship. We discussed our worries about being freshmen and decided to explore Rowan. On our little journey, I became friends with another freshman who promised me everything will be okay. Later that day, I sat in a circle with six girls while getting to know each other for two hours. 

My anxiety was hard to manage the following days; I was a crying mess walking around campus and even cried to two of my professors. I was thankful for them because they took time out of their day to calm me down and gave me words of encouragement, which was to take each day as it was and not to shut down my feelings, but rather ask for help!

    By that point, I was tired and was not able to eat properly. Even a granola bar was hard to eat! This changed when my mom told me that every freshman was worried and it was okay not to be okay. She gave me some tough love, which I needed. A friend also told me that I need to believe that things will get better. In hindsight, they were both right. 

    It’s not only freshmen that are nervous the first week back, but everyone feels anxious about college too. But from what I learned, you need to push yourself out of your head and see the bigger picture, so you can explore new possibilities. I pushed myself into believing everything will be okay by hanging out with my new friends and joining clubs, such as Chill N’ Chat, Stress and Anxiety Student Report (SASS), The Whit, Her Campus, and the Writing Arts Club.

 Most importantly, I talked about my feelings to a therapist at the Wellness Center and she gave me helpful anxiety tips. One of the tips was the Grounding Exercise, which is where you have to name who you are, your age, what are you doing, and what do you see. Not only that, but I was given a green marble and a squishy ball to play with when I started to feel anxious again. It helped a lot since I was able to communicate my feelings and I felt better about being at Rowan. 

So if there’s any freshman out there who’s reading this there’s no shame getting help. If I can survive my first two weeks of school so can you. I believe in you! I’ve listed links below in case you need any resources!

 

On-Campus Emotional Well-Being Resources

Information on the Wellness Center

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