As senior year comes quickly to a close, we’re all looking forward to college. That’s a given. It’s all my friends and I talk about.
But, the prospect of living away from home, from my family, and from all I’ve ever known is daunting, and makes me really anxious sometimes. When I voice my concerns to my parents or other people, they try to be sympathetic and helpful, but they don’t always know what to say. Here are some of the most common things I’ve heard:
1. “Everyone is going through the same thing.”
Initial Reaction: Okay, that’s logical, and certainly true, but THAT DOESN’T MAKE ME FEEL BETTER! If I break a leg, I don’t want the doctor telling me the guy in the next room did the same thing! So we’re both suffering?! How does that help ME?
Kernel of Wisdom: Everyone IS going through the same thing. We’re all nervous and scared and don’t know anyone. While it may not make you feel better to know that everyone else is suffering just as much as you, it should boost your confidence in making friends and make it easier to form connections.
2. “(Insert name here) is going a lot farther away than you are.”
Initial Reaction: SO WHAT?! Just like number one, knowing that someone else is in the same, or worse, situation as me does not ease my anxiety at all. Now imagine me breaking a leg, and the doctor saying, “Well, it could have been a lot worse. The guy next door fractured both ankles AND has a concussion.” Uh, yay me?
Kernel of Wisdom: Most people who go away to college stay fairly close, or at least a feasible distance away. Face it; you’re going to college, not being stranded on a desert island (I hope). If things get really bad or you’re really homesick, you CAN find a way to get home. It may not be cheap or easy, but you can get there.
3. “I did it, and I was fine!”
Initial Reaction: Oh, great, thanks granddad. You went to college before ‘nam. A LOT has changed since then. And YOU are not ME. What if I can’t? What if I don’t like it? On second thought, granddad, how would you like to take my spot, since you handled it so well the first time around?
Kernel of Wisdom: Everyone survives! It may not seem like it, but everyone survives the college experience, and you will too. Let’s be honest, there are some adults you look at and just think, “How did you ever get that degree?” If they can, so can you.