9 Simple Ways To Calm Your Pre-College Nerves

COLLEGE. It’s an exciting word, but also a terrifying one. After months of waiting, emotional acceptances and rejections, and difficult decisions, you’re finally ready to pack your bags and go. Or are you? As your departure date draws closer, you’re probably suffering from some serious pre-college anxiety. You’ll have to make new friends, adjust to new academic expectations and learn how to live away from home. That’s a lot of new—no wonder you’re nervous! But never fear: we’ve compiled a list of some tried-and-true ways to calm down and get excited about the next four years of your life.

1. Talk to current college students

When you’re nervous about something, the best way to feel better is to talk to someone who’s been through it and survived. There are so many students who have been through the college experience and can tell you what to expect so it doesn’t come as such a shock. Remember, though, that every college is different, and that traditions and customs at your friends’ schools won’t necessarily apply to your experience. Just because your friend’s entire school participates in a naked midnight run doesn’t mean you’ll have to do the same!

friends laughing, friends, laughing

2. Use your nerves for good

You’re nervous, and that anxious energy can manifest in all kinds of unhealthy ways—overeating, not eating, crying, etc. Instead of letting yourself get worked up into a nervous wreck, put your energy into something constructive, like doing research into your school’s student organisations. This will not only make you feel more prepared, but will also help you get excited about college. You might even learn something you never knew about your school.

Looking for other great ways to channel your nerves?  Work on a project you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, like organising your DVD collection or starting a blog. If your school requires summer work, try to focus on that, and do it to the best of your ability. Exercise is also a great way to get rid of nerves, so channel your anxiety into finding a cool new workout and giving it a try.

3. Make a plan

Make some concrete plans for the first week of school. Make a promise to yourself to sign up for as many organisations as possible so that you’ll immediately have plenty of things to do and people to meet around campus.

4. Actively get back into “school mode”

You may be totally fine with the social aspect of college, but freaking out about academics. Will the classes be too hard? Will the professors be nice? Will I even remember how to do school? Reviewing old high school notes or textbooks before leaving for college can get you back into the right frame of mind, and remind you how to study and take notes.

5. Attend fresher’s week

Fresher’s week is a rite of passage when you start college. It’s a great way to meet new people, join some random societies and generally have a great time. It’s a great way to throw yourself into college life from the get go.

6. Learn the skills for living away from home

Another way to turn your nerves into productivity is to bond while still getting ready for college. Nervous about those housekeeping tasks you’ll have to do for yourself once you get to school? Ask your mum to help you wash and fold a load of laundry, or get some friends together to cook a simple meal. You’ll be much better educated in those living-on-your-own chores, and you may have some great quality bonding time!

7. Figure out what you’re nervous about and answer each fear

Though it may just feel like an overwhelming wave of panic, there are some specific parts of college life that you’re worried about—and in reality, most of your fears probably don’t make much sense. Maybe you’re an absolute pro at introducing yourself to complete strangers, but you’re still freaking out about the college party scene. Or maybe you’ve always been at the top of the class, and you’re worried college classes will make your grades drop. Pin down these specific fears and refute them. For example:

  • Fear:  I’m afraid that I’ll be awkward with the other people in my class, and they won’t want to be friends with me.
  • Answer: Last year at my summer job I made tons of new friends, and I’m still in touch with them. I’m awesome!
8. Find the humour

Remember in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when the students got rid of a Boggart (which would take the shape of the thing the student most feared) by turning what they found scary into something hilarious? Humour is a great way to get past something that freaks you out because it forces you to look at the situation in a whole new way. Watch funny college movies, talk to relatives and friends about their funniest college experiences, even make stupid jokes about the size of your suitcase—we guarantee you’ll be feeling less doom-and-gloom in no time.

9. Put it all in perspective

You may not feel like you’re ready, but you are. You’re a smart, savvy almost-college student who’s ready to take on the world. And remember, you go to college to get an education—not just from books but also from friends, experiences, and yes, even mistakes. It’s normal to feel nervous, but know that you’re going to be just fine.

Change is hard because it takes time to feel comfortable and adjusted to a new routine but everyone in college is going through the same transition and is looking for friends and study buddies, so there is no need to feel out of place. Your jitters will go away once you realise you are about to have the best four years of your life!

Via hercampus.com