Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Going Back to College?


It's August 1st, which can only mean one things. Actually, two things. You can officially start using the 2018 agenda that your purchased for this year. The second thing that the first of this month signifies something bigger (I know, bigger than getting to use a new agenda? Impossible). It's back to school at the end of the month for many people. Thankfully, not me. Not to point my finger and snicker and says "SUCKERS!" while I kick my legs back and relax. I paid my dues, man. I paid my dues!

I like giving unsolicited college advice. It's one of my favorite things to do. I'd like to think that I was pretty good at the college thing. I made some noticeable mistakes, but I came out of it at the end in a pretty good place, which I'd consider a success. So clearly, I am now mega-qualified to write all of these posts. Since I am the College Master™ (joking, totally, 100% joking), I figured I'd break up this back to school series into a few sections so I can delve into various aspects of college. We have today's, (You've Got Me Feeling) Emotions & Socialization, and then I'm sure I'll touch on money, what to eat, having fun, getting ready for classes, and who knows what else will pop into my head.

What Lies at the Bottom of the Ocean and Shakes A Lot? A Nervous Wreck!

I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret. Even the most confident people in the entire world can get nervous. It's normal. Having the nervous jitters before college is something that plenty of people go through, whether it's your first year or your fourth year. If you think about it, every year is still something entirely new. You'll have new classmates, new people you pass in the halls, new professors, new course loads, you could even have an entirely new major if you so desire. While the idea of all new everything is also very exciting, it can be nerve-wracking at the same time. The thing is, it doesn't have to be nerve wracking all of the time.

The severity of the nervousness differs from person to person. I mean, duh, nobody is the same. Every has different personality types, likes and dislikes when it comes to social situations. No two people are the same. Every school is a different size with a different number of students enrolled and in each class. Some people decide to stay local where they know more people attending where some people decide to go to school away from home, either in the same state or in another state entirely.

Nervousness is a hard thing to tackle. It's so prevalent and can pop out of nowhere, swinging in like a wrecking ball, very a-la Miley Cyrus. I mean, how does one stop being nervous? Perhaps it's less of stopping the nervous feeling, but curbing your actions around it and working through it. A good tip for literally anything is to just breathe. If you focus on your breathing, you can keep your nervous system at bay and be less agitated. Keep your thoughts positive. Don't be detrimental to yourself in your head. Think about the bigger picture in a positive light, like what good things could happen if such and such a thing happened.

What Did the Shy Pebble Say? I Wish I Was A Little Boulder.


Okay, so this is beyond the initial nervousness. Being reserved or timid is a little harder to break than just a nervous feeling. Being shy is who you are and there's nothing wrong with that. I completely understand being reserved around people. For me, it's a combination of self-consciousness and getting easily embarrassed. I'm afraid that I'll do something stupid around people, so I recoil a bit from new people and experiences to, essentially, save face and keep my already fragile ego in tact.

I'll say it: my shyness might have inhibited the beginning of my college experience. I don't like "what ifs" but sometimes I imagine what it would have been like had I done things with my friends sophomore year. I had the opportunity to hang out with my group of friends from the end of college during my second year, but I was too scared to go out and hang out with them that I'd just stay in my room by myself. I also missed out on the opportunity to befriend anyone on my floor freshmen year (sophomore year too, but I think freshmen year was more vital). Dorming is the easiest way to meet people and I completely disregarded it and hid in my room instead of meeting new people.

So friends, talk to people on your floor (if you're living on campus). Chat with people in your classes, especially if they're in multiple classes with you and/or are in your major. Those people sitting in lounge areas with you multiple days in a row? Maybe start up a conversation with them too. There are more opportunities to meet people than you would think. Sometimes you can't just wait for people to speak to you first. Compliment them on something, ask them a question about something class related, even just a simple "hey, what's up?" could spark a conversation. Or it might not. No harm, no foul. You're not going to be best friends forever with everybody, but a little socialization outside of your norm is nice once in a while.

"Hey Mom, Can I Come Home This Weekend?"

This one is for my dorming folk who decided to go away to school. Doesn't matter if you're out of state or just an hour away from home. Homesickness is real, y'all. And let me tell you, it sucks. I had severe homesickness my first semester of college. I can't recall a moment in which I didn't want to be at home instead of in Cleveland.

I can definitely link some of my homesickness to the fact that I didn't do much (see: any) socialization on campus. I didn't have friends, didn't really talk to anyone outside of my roommates, and just all around was a loner. No wonder why I missed home!

Still though, even later in my college career, I had my moments (usually when I was super stressed) where all I wanted to do was be at home. There's no harm in calling, texting, or FaceTiming your friends and family from home. Don't be embarrassed to miss people. It happens and getting to talk to them or see their faces let's you breathe a sigh of relief and gives you a semblance of being home that will hopefully tide you over until the next time you get to go back.

The Stress is REAL


Stress is a common theme on this blog. I hope by no means it seems like I'm promoting stress as a good thing because I promise, I'm not. Stress f#$%ing sucks, guys. It's horrible. It comes out of nowhere sometimes and latches on and takes over your day-to-day life and never leaves. I struggled with this BAD my junior year. Like, finally breaking down for thirty minutes straight while I drove home from work only to run to campus as soon as I parked because I had a class to go to and an exam to study for. Really, it's easier said than done when it comes to not letting it consume you.

One way to combat stress is to be proactive. Divide up your tasks so it's clear how many things you truly have to do. Start tackling them one by one (and not the night before) so you're not trying to finish multi-step projects in one sitting. Stay hydrated. Water's good for you, folks. Just drink it. Make sure you get a proper amount of sleep and aren't chasing all-nighters with more all-nighters. And the most important of all, if you need to take time for yourself, please, take time for yourself. Breaks are not an evil, lazy thing to take. Breaks are much needed breathers for your brain.

If your stress is more serious, talk to somebody beyond a friend or family member. Campus should have counselors or if you have your own counselor outside of school, bring this up in a session. Mental health is real. 

2 comments:

  1. I'm going into my second year of college in September and I'm totally nervous about it. But, your post made me realize it's normal! Ty Francesca!

    xoxo,
    Eliz
    heyitseliz.com

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    Replies
    1. I'm 99% sure that I was nervous before the start of everything single semester. Not even just every year! It's totally normal, but I hope you have a great start to your second year in a few weeks! :)

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