Starting a new chapter in your life can be incredibly stressful, and beginning college is no different. You may be staring at your course catalog every night, experiencing intense pre college anxiety. You may be asking yourself some of these questions: Will I make any friends? How am I supposed to live with random people? What if the classes are too hard or I pick the wrong major?
Cease worrying about the unknown and start to become excited about the future with these tools:
Cancel negativity: You can do this through writing in a journal, or just by thinking inwardly. Answering your own questions is a way to calm your fears. Write down exactly why you’re feeling so anxious. What is the worst possible situation that you’re worrying about as a freshman in college? If you worry that you will get homesick—remind yourself that your parents love you, and you can come home at any point. You’re not trapped at college, no matter how far away you’re going.
Perhaps you’re questioning if you will ever make friends—remind yourself that you have made friends in middle school, in high school, and that college will be no different. Try to surface every possible negative and cancel it out with a logical answer. This is a common meditative technique, particularly good for helping ease anxiety about the future.
Self-talk: If you’re feeling that you might fail, remind yourself that you are a talented and intelligent individual. And if you have to keep reminding yourself of that, it’s okay! Get a little self-absorbed for fifteen minutes and write a list of everything good about yourself that you can think about. This can be a wonderful resource to read through when you begin to feel nervous.
Change your perspective: Maybe you’ve spent so long thinking about what could go wrong that you have forgotten that going to college is an exciting and wonderful opportunity. You are so lucky that you get to continue your education and deepen your understanding of aspects of the world that you are able to choose. Think of the possibilities: you could figure out exactly what you want to do with your life! You could meet your future best friend, your future spouse, or a mentor. You will be exposed to knowledge that you have never considered.
Talk to some students: Get the insider scoop. If possible, during the summer, connect with a few current students of the college that you’re headed to. Tell them that you have a little pre college anxiety and ask them some questions you’re comfortable inquiring about. Students are your best resource for information about what college is really like. Just be aware that everyone’s experience is a little different—which is certainly part of the adventure! You could also connect with some peers in your future class on facebook.com and express how excited you are to meet them. When you receive your roommate assignments, connect with them as well, and send them a message introducing yourself.
The uncertainty is part of the adventure. Remember that every transition has bumps along the way. It’s how you handle them that defines your experience.