Many people have preconceived notions of what college will be like. They have seen it in movies. It’s where you meet your best friends, have great sex and an amazing social life.
When this doesn’t happen many people can feel down about it. Maybe they didn’t click with a group in their class or don’t have the right people to socialize with.
They go home in the evening and wonder why they are not having a great ‘college experience’.
Maybe you feel something similar?
What many people don’t tell you is that the first year in college is actually quite an anxious year. You are no longer in the safety net of your old school where you knew everyone; this is all new and scary. It is an extremely nerve-wrecking time for almost everyone (even if they do a good job of hiding it).
The anxiety start before you even begin college.
Will I know anyone? Will anyone talk to me? Will they like me?
What if they all know each other already? What if I am late?
What if I say something really dumb?
Even once you have established a group of friends, classes can still be a cause of anxiety. You are learning new topics and may feel out of your depth. Many are afraid to ask questions for a fear of ‘sounding stupid’
What if it is way too hard for me? What if I don’t understand the topic?
If you haven’t made friends yet then a cause of anxiety may be who to sit next to and where will you go on your break in between classes? No one wants to seen as a loner.
The freedom of college is great but its damn stressful too!
To help ease college anxiety here are a few tips
7 things to help make college life less stressful.
1. Remembering everyone is in the same boat- they are all out of their comfort zone even though they hide it well.
2. If you see that someone is alone, talk to them. You will be amazed at how well people respond.
3. Don’t wait to be chosen -choose yourself. If you don’t think your class is social enough or you aren’t getting to know them then organize a night out, or a trip or even set up a Facebook page where you can all chat.
4. Branch out. Don’t just try to make friends in your class. Joining societies is by far the best way to meet people who share your interests. That’s where you will meet the people you have most in common with.
5. You are paying them. Remember that lecturers are being paid to help you. Take advantage of that and approach them. 95% of other student won’t. You can email them and ask to meet for a coffee to get extra help or insight with a part of your course that you struggle with. (Might help with the grades too as they then know you are interested)
6. Ask for help. Most universities have free doctors and counseling services, use them if you need to.
7. It is going to fly by. College years are some the best years of your life but they zip by so enjoy them and do as much as you can. You will spend years later wishing you were back there so try and make the most of it even if you find it stressful at times.
Feel your college fear and do it anyway!