Anxious About Going To College?

Going to college can be both exciting and scary. While it can be a chance to experience complete freedom, it can also feel like a step into the unknown. You’ll have to get used to living away from home and doing all your own cooking and cleaning. You’ll need to manage your own time and your own finances. You’ll also have to make new friends and leave old friends and family behind. 

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about all of this. In fact, it would be odd if you weren’t a little anxious. Most people you are going to college with will be a little nervous themselves. The key is to not let this anxiety get too out of control. Below are just some of the ways in which you can contain your anxiety. 

Learn necessary life skills

There are some basic life skills you’ll need to know at college. This includes how to cook basic meals, how to use a washing machine and how to manage your finances. Learning these skills could make you feel less anxious about having to live independently. Consider practicing a few basic meals beforehand like pasta dishes, omelets, stir-fries, and rice dishes. Ask your parents how to do the laundry if you’ve never done it before. Meanwhile, start creating a weekly budget for yourself to help you control your spending. 

Prepare what you need early

There’s lots of stuff you may need to buy before heading off to college including books, cooking utensils, and possibly equipment such as a laptop. Prepare all of this in advance if you can see so that you’re not scrambling around at the last minute for things - this will make you feel calmer and more ready for college. You may not be given a reading list until August, but you can prepare for everything else months in advance. 

Visit the campus

Have you visited the campus that you plan to study at? Scheduling a visit could help you to familiarize yourself so that it isn’t all brand new. If you’ve missed the campus open day, see if you can still get a private tour. Some universities will hold introductory days that could be worth going along to. 

Connect with fellow students

You don’t have to wait until your first day in college to meet fellow students. Many universities have services that allow you to connect with people on your course throughout the summer before college begins. You can chat online about the course and get to know each other. This could make things less scary when you eventually meet these people in person. 

Talk to college staff

You may also be able to talk to course tutors or other campus staff about any issues you have. Every university will have a support desk you can contact by ringing or emailing - they will then connect you with the right person to answer any questions you may have. 

Read blogs for advice

There are so many blogs out there that can be great for gaining advice on going to college such as this one by Stephen Troese Jr. Check out some of these blogs to learn tips and gain insights that could be useful. 

Improve your self-confidence

Extreme anxiety about going to college could come down to a lack of self-confidence. Don’t underestimate your ability to adapt and be independent and make new friends. Learn to be more self-confident in yourself by being more optimistic and by avoiding negative thoughts. Consider all the positive outcomes (you could list these in a journal). You could also write down all your negative thoughts on a piece of paper and then throw away this piece of paper - this can help you to mentally free yourself of these toxic thoughts.

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