Going off to college means that you get the first taste of real adulthood. Falling asleep with your laptop open on your bed, eating leftover takeout for breakfast, and going out four times a week; freedom never felt so good. But this is also when you face new challenges, such as living with roommates, managing heavy workloads, and developing an independent identity. On top of this, (most likely) you have to cope without any support from family and old friends. Soon enough, you’re overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, and feeling helpless. But you’re not alone, according to the American College Health Association Fall 2018 National College Health Assessment, 63% of college students in the U.S. felt overwhelming anxiety in the past year. That is a worrying number. But there are solutions! With the following tips, you can overcome anxiety and actually enjoy the college experience.
Confront your problems
Trying to avoid and ignore the stressors (i.e. skipping a difficult class, procrastinate on completing an assignment) will only make your anxiety worse. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and get the most difficult, but the most important, things done first! For example, if you’re struggling in a class, try to communicate with the professor or the teaching assistant for help (either through email or talk to them during office hours). They welcome questions and are always willing to help. If, for some reason, they can’t provide sufficient help, don’t hesitate to contact the peer tutoring centre at your school. The tutors there are straight-A students, who’s been there and done that, and not only can they help you master the subject matter, but they can also teach you how to learn and approach new material.
Your well-being is your top priority
Healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and a good night’s sleep are all thrown off course when you first start college. But try to get back on track as soon as you’re settled down. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed by the heavy workloads and hectic class schedules, and have absolutely no time to recalibrate. Establish a self-care routine according to your class schedule and stick to it! Plan your meals and bring healthy snacks to keep your energy level up. Get a gym buddy and diligently track each other’s progress. Keep your phone away from your bed and limit caffeine in the evening so you can have a restful sleep.
Find resources on campus
Most colleges or universities offer resources to help students ease their transition to campus and familiarize with a new lifestyle. These resources are offered in different ways and most are free, such as academic advising, study support, health clinic, and even therapy dogs!
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