Tips for Trying Something New if You're Anxious

College is the perfect time to try new things, but that does not mean that it is always easy to convince yourself to do those new things. As someone with generalized anxiety disorder, I know that the thought of new experiences can be terrifying. Here are some tips that have helped me to get myself to take advantage of all the opportunities college has to offer.

Take Care of Yourself First

Whether you are experiencing “normal” levels of nerves or have an anxiety disorder, seeing a counselor is never a bad idea. Counselors are a great resource to lean on. They often teach coping mechanisms to help people deal with their anxiety and can connect people to more help if necessary. Plus, sometimes simply talking about your feelings to someone in a neutral setting can help lessen them. (*Counseling is available in the Wellness Center for free to all SVC students.)

Establish Your Limits

It is okay to draw the line somewhere. You do not have to take every opportunity that pops up. Sometimes you truly are not ready to try certain things, and that is perfectly fine. Some day you may become comfortable enough with the idea to try it, but if not, that is okay. Know where your limits are, but also know that they may change in the future as you grow as a person.


Start with Something Familiar

It is always easier to try something that you have some background in already. For instance, joining a club similar to one you were in during high school is much more comfortable than jumping into a brand-new club about which you know nearly nothing. If you are ready for the latter, go for it! However, if you are not, stick with what you know at first. Eventually, you may find yourself ready to try something completely off-the-wall for yourself, but for the time being, it is okay to stick with things related to past experiences you have had. Build yourself up to the experiences you are most nervous about.


Grab A Friend

Trying new things is always more fun – and much easier - when you are with someone you know. If you have a common interest, ask a friend to tag along with you. Whether you are going on a trip with APB, attending a lecture about something you are interested in learning about, or joining a new club, having someone familiar by your side can help tremendously reduce any anxiety you may be feeling. After all, there is a good chance they are feeling nervous about the experience too.

Trying new things is a sometimes scary, but exciting part of life. When you are ready, go for whatever comes your way, but know that it is okay to know when something is too much for you.


Here’s to new experiences and personal growth!