August is here! In two weeks freshman start moving in on my campus. It seems like summer just started, but college is right around the corner and coming fast! Right before I started college I was a bundle of nerves. I was stressed about everything from my roommate to my classes to making friends. I spent days searching pinterest for any and all advice I could find. Every night I stayed up thinking about everything that could wrong. Even my dreams were full of college fears.
To make a long story short, I had a horrible case of pre-college anxiety. Now that I have a few years under my belt, I’ve decided to share with you different ways to calm your own anxiety before college.
- Talk to someone who has been through it. In my experience, one of the best ways to calm your jitters is to talk to an older college student. In my experience, older students can almost always help you calm down and can give you answers to questions you have. Having someone tell you what college is really like can help kick pre-college anxiety to the curb!
- Research. Like I said, I searched pinterest for any and all college advice I could find my senior year. I was reading whatever I could find that would help me feel even the tiniest bit better about college starting. Pinterest is a great resource, as well as college bloggers who focus on college advice (like me!) A few I recommend are The Happy Arkansan, The Young Hopeful, and As Life Grows. I love hundreds of other college blogs, but these three have been around for a while and are full of great informational posts!
- Color! One of my favorite stress management techniques is coloring! I have a coloring books with mandalas and similar designs and I love it. It really helps take your mind off your worries and lets you just relax for a little while! Plus pretty designs like the ones in this coloring book can totally be used as dorm decor!
- Explore your campus. If you are terrified of getting lost on your new campus or not being able to find your classes, why not visit a few weeks before move-in? Obviously this only works if you live relatively near to your campus! If you don’t live near campus, there will still be time to wander around campus between move-in and classes starting! If your school is like mine, they will probably even have some type of welcome week program to help you find your classes!
- Write down all of your fears and tackle them one by one. This is more of a mental task than anything else. Spend 15 minutes writing down everything you think could go wrong on a piece of paper. Then, think about each item one by one. Research the topic and write down different solutions or ideas of ways to deal with the problem. That way, you are prepared for each possible situation! While it’s unlikely those things will happen, it will make you feel better to be prepared!
- Remember that you are not alone. Talk to other freshman who are nervous about starting college! Most colleges will have a facebook group for the incoming class to let students as each other (and older students) questions and to meet some other members of the freshman class! Search for your group, and if you can’t find one, just look for a more general group! I am a member of two facebook groups that are all about helping collegiates (including new students) live their best life! They are The Young Hopeful Collective and The Happy Student!
- Breathe. Remember that thousands of other students have gone through this same process and have survived! Enjoy your last few weeks at home with your family and don’t spend too much time stressing about school – things have a way of working themselves out!
I know first hand what pre-college anxiety is like, and I hope this list can help you lose your fear and focus on how fun and exciting college will be! If you ever need to talk and have no one else to turn to, my door is always open! I love mentoring and helping students, as well as just answering questions (no question is stupid!) – reach out in email or on any social media and I will answer!
If you have dealt with pre-college anxiety and have any tips for how to deal with it, let me know in the comments below!