Social Anxiety and College Life
College can be a beautiful experience, but it can also be filled with enormous amounts of stress and anxiety. Young adults pack up their belongings, say goodbye to their loved ones and head off to start a new chapter in their lives. The first day of college is filled with meeting new people, trying to figure out where buildings are, and realizing a majority of your time will be spent doing homework. Here are some helpful tips to get focused and excited for the school year ahead.
Social anxiety seems to reach an all time high in college, but it really shouldn’t be something that holds us back from new friendships and opportunities. I recommend joining a sport or organization on campus. I’ve met some of my closest friends through the Papyrus and Scrib. I got to meet people who were a lot like me and shared similar interests. I also started attending The Bridge Church and have met some really great people who I can count on to be there for me through difficult times. If I wouldn’t have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new, I never would have met them.
God didn’t create us to be alone. He created Eve for Adam, and I believe that we are not meant to face this life on our own either. It’s all about making connections with the people around us, through our family, friends and church. We use the word community a lot at Greenville College and I understand why. When people gather and work together as a team, it is more powerful than working alone. The more connections you make, the more doors God will open for you as He pours out blessings into your life.
When it comes to college level homework, just the thought of assignments, projects and presentations stress me out. I’ve quickly learned to keep track of assignments or life will get out of hand. That’s why I highly recommend buying a planner. As soon as you are given an assignment, write it down in your planner. If you write something down, it’ll help you stay organized. You never want to experience that dreadful moment when you walk into class and realize everyone has their homework finished except for you. One last thing you can do is head to the Student Success Center. They’ll be happy to help you stay on track and keep organized.
Another tip I’ve learned is to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. I know, it’s college and you have the freedom to stay up until two a.m. and thrive on caffeine to get you through the day. Trust me, that’s not the route to go. It’ll turn into a vicious cycle of feeling drained every morning. If you go to bed at a decent hour each night, I promise you’ll wake up with more energy to help retain information better in class and will physically feel better as well.
Social anxiety and college stress can go hand in hand. If you’re not treating your body well, you won’t feel well mentally, physically and emotionally. This can lead to depression and, in time, could push you away from social interaction. It’s important to talk with your friends, family or a professor about anything going on in your life. It really is powerful to have trustworthy and encouraging people to help you deal with all the stress from college, as well as help you grow in your faith.