How To Deal With College Anxiety

Shwar Zaidi, Staff Writer


Are you anxious about your first week in college? You’re not alone. College can be overwhelming, especially if you are transitioning from high school. Here are some steps that can help you fight your battle with anxiety.  

First, accept your feelings and understand why you are anxious. Sometimes there is a reason why your body is feeling a certain way. College is a big step, and it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about your first day. Unlike high school, you’re on your own in college. Your parents will not be there to make sure you do your homework. You might have two-hour-long lectures and you’ll have books to read. You may have trouble getting out and meeting new people. All of your feelings are perfectly understandable, and it’s essential to accept how you’re feeling instead of pushing it down and avoiding it. Acceptance is the first step to recovery.

Once you accept your feelings, it’s time to change your thinking. Your anxiety is giving you negative thoughts and worrying you. You can write down all the things you are concerned about and transform those negative words into positive ones. For example: “I am scared I will have no friends and I will be alone,” or “I am afraid my classes will be hard.” You can change your thoughts into, “This is a fresh start to meet new people. I will make healthy friendships,” and “I will work hard and ask for help if I am struggling on my exams.” Often, anxiety happens because we think the worst of ourselves. If you change your negative thinking into a more optimistic mindset, then you will feel ten times better and more excited about your journey.

Now that you have achieved positive thinking, make a list of some goals you would like to achieve in college. Goals like “I will work hard and expand my knowledge in class,” or “I will find a healthy group of friends who I can socialize with.” Having these goals will keep you busy and more determined about your future. It will help your anxiety as you let yourself know you are going to get an experience out of college life.

Now that you have your goals to accomplish, it’s vital to follow through on them. Find some clubs that can help you out. When you join different clubs, you can find out what you are passionate about, and you can make a change in your campus. You can meet new people, especially in your field. As you reach more people, you can build healthy friendships and get out of your comfort zone. Additionally, your anxiety may lessen since you are not locked up in a dorm room alone with your anxious thoughts. As you get yourself out there, you can gain more experience and find out who you are as a person.

Moreover, find some hobbies that will distract you whenever your anxiety kicks in. It can be reading a good book, watching a movie, writing a novel or doing something else you are interested in. Try out different hobbies and find out what you like best.

Lastly and most importantly, remember that you are going to be okay. Relax; your anxiety tells you that you can’t do it, but it’s lying to you. You can do anything you set your mind to do. Anxiety causes you think about the worst possible scenario, but a lot of the times it is our fear that’s bigger than the actual problem. There are always solutions to everything. You must believe in yourself and trust that whatever comes your way, you will be able to get through it.

It’s okay to be cautious and mindful, but you can’t let anxiety stop you from enjoying your experience in college. College is a one-time opportunity where you can learn and grow. So, go out there and prove to yourself that you are stronger than what your anxiety makes you feel.