Leaving home for the first time can be stressful.
Add the stress of going to classes, doing homework, meeting new friends, and building new relationships, and it’s easy to understand why college freshmen are often so anxious.
Around 41.6% of all college students self-report feeling intense feelings of anxiety, and these feelings are often the most intense during the first year of school.
The good news is that anxiety is a treatable condition.
However, in this blog we’ll be exploring a few steps you can take to manage and overcome anxiety before or during professional treatment.
1. Remember That It’s Normal To Feel Some Anxiety When You Go To College
Going to college is probably the biggest change you’ve experienced in your entire life until this point.
While you used to live in a familiar environment, have a structured life, and oversight from parents and teachers, college forces you into a much different world – one that’s full of new experiences, and new challenges.
It’s normal to feel anxious about new experiences like going to college.
We all need to leave our comfort zones and grow at some point and this is a common cause of anxiety. What’s important is how you react to this anxiety. You can push through it and continue your journey, or shrink back and allow it to dominate your life.
If you struggle with figuring out how to push through your anxiety or you aren’t sure how to react to it, a professional therapist can help you learn techniques. We recommend a free consultation to evaluate your situation.
2. Do Your Best To Meet New People & Make Connections
One of the reasons that freshmen feel so anxious at college is the lack of a support system. Chances are that you’re moving away from most of your oldest friends and closest family members.
Because of this, it’s important to connect with your roommates, classmates, other residents in your hall, and people in clubs and associations you’re interested in joining. The sooner you can meet new people, put yourself out there, and make new connections, the quicker you’ll have a new support system that’s near you.
By building a new support system, you will have people to talk to when you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or are having trouble managing your classes, personal life, work, and other such responsibilities.
3. Take Care Of Your Physical Health – It Will Help With Your Mental Health, Too!
There is a tendency among college freshmen to begin engaging in unhealthy behaviors, such as staying up too late and not getting enough sleep, smoking and using tobacco, getting less exercise, using drugs or alcohol recreationally, and eating infrequently and poorly.
It’s important to remember that your mind and body are linked. It will be easier for you to overcome anxiety and other mental health issues if you are taking care of your body. Try to maintain good physical habits. Here are a few steps you can take.
- Exercise a few times a week to keep your body healthy
- Make healthy food choices when eating on and off-campus
- Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night
- Avoid binge drinking, the use of recreational drugs, and tobacco products
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid pulling “all nighters”
4. Practice Good Time Management
One huge source of stress and anxiety as a freshman is not knowing how to manage your time and juggle classes, homework, your job, your personal life, and other parts of your life. Good time management skills are critical for minimizing this stress and anxiety.
If you do not manage your time wisely, you will always feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks on your plate, and this can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety.
There are many ways to improve your time management skills, and different individuals will have different preferences. You can create a calendar or maintain a planner with information about your classes, homework, and assignments, stick to a daily routine, keep your notes and documents organized, and use checklists to stay on track.
Click here for some great tips on time management for new college students.
5. Explore Counseling Options
If you are feeling a lot of stress, anxiety, and pressure as a college freshman, it’s a good idea to seek help from a therapist or counselor.
With counseling and therapy, you can discuss the sources of your stress and anxiety, find methods to cope with these feelings, and ensure that you are able to get the care you need to succeed in your college career.
Know How To Beat Anxiety – And Succeed In College!
Going to college as a freshman can feel like a “sink or swim” moment. How you deal with the stress and anxiety of your new life can have a major impact on your education. So follow these tips – and if you need professional help, don’t hesitate to reach out.