6 Ways to Ease Freshman College Anxiety

Jenny Smith, LCSW, CCTP, CCTHP on Sep 07, 2022 in Mood and Feelings

Being a freshman in college is a whole new adventure. The classes you take in college and the people you meet can shape your future. Even though college has many fun times, it can also bring about terrible anxiety. This may be your first time living away from your parents and making your own decisions. You could also experience anxiety about passing your classes or trying to juggle studying with having fun.

A 2018 American College Health Association assessment says that 63% of college students have experienced overwhelming anxiety, and 23% have actually received a diagnosis for it. Being an adult comes with a lot of responsibility, one of which is to seek help for your anxiety. Once you know how to manage it, college can be more rewarding and enjoyable.

Here are six ways to ease freshman college anxiety.

1. Make New Friends

You may feel alone when you start college and do not know anyone. You might see groups walking around campus who have known each other since high school or met during orientation.

Remember that you are not the only college freshman out there. Thousands of college freshmen feel exactly the same as you about not making any friends. You can seek solace in a new friend by getting to know people through your dorm building, classes, and clubs. There are plenty of places to find kindred spirits.

2. Talk To Your Family and Friends From Home

Even though you are miles away from the loved ones you left behind, you can still keep in touch. While you will be busy with your classes and other college activities, lean on someone from back home. If your parents or older siblings went to college, they will understand what you are going through. They have been in your shoes before. When you feel sad, scared, or homesick, your loved ones are only a phone call away.

3. Keep Busy

Anxiety can seem very intense when you are alone in your thoughts. Your school work will give you an excuse to redirect your thoughts on that. You will have the confidence you need to get through each school year by keeping yourself busy. Not only that, but your friends and school clubs can help you fill up your schedule. When you are busy having fun, it’s harder for anxiety to control your thoughts.

4. Self-Care

While you have a busy schedule on your hands, it is always a priority to focus on yourself. Do something that makes you feel like your best self without anxious thoughts weighing you down. You can exercise regularly to release your stress and boost your confidence. Go to your campus gym or take a walk around your campus. You can also find a funny movie to watch, as finding humor in situations helps to combat anxiety. Once you sleep for seven to eight hours a night, you will feel refreshed. Remember that everything looks better in the morning.

5. Identify Your Triggers

When you know what triggers your anxiety, you will have more control in managing it. These triggers can be things going on at school or certain lifestyle choices. For example, drinking alcohol or coffee can make you more anxious. Maybe your course load is too heavy or you have trouble socializing. Whatever the trigger is, discovering it will help you tackle it.

6. Seek Professional Help

Getting help from a therapist is always wise. Take advantage of the mental health offices on campus. You can even look into seeing your therapist through video chat to make it easier to work into your schedule.

If you are still struggling with freshman anxiety, here at JoyFeel Therapy, we are ready to listen and support you. Contact us today!

Jenny Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Panama City Beach, FL.
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