Surviving social anxiety your first year at college

As the green leaves of summer begin their inevitable change into the auburn colors of fall, new generations of students now enter the campus of Trinity University.

Bright-eyed and eager, they begin their new journey””some with set goals and expectations for their future and others with aspirations to achieve new friendships and means of personal recreation. But within many of these fresh-faced young students there grows a hidden, lingering stare of anxiety, a bewilderment that causes them to feel less at ease in this great time of new beginnings. How will I fit in? Where am I supposed to go? How will I establish myself? Who will I BE?

Such are the questions that many incoming students ask themselves at this time as they begin the task of adjusting themselves to new schedules and routines.

Life in college proves to be quite different from that of high school; the opportunities are greater, the people are more diverse, the professors are more engaging, and so on.

When I was a first year, I too experienced the niggling anxiety of beginning life anew at college. I wondered where my first year would take me, how I would adjust to the pressure, and how I would change and grow in the process. I found, however, that adjusting can be much easier than one would assume it to be.

First years will find that college life possesses many opportunities to find their own little niche. [The depth and breadth of clubs and classes are enormous.] For some, the idea of it might appear intimidating, but when you really get down to it, it only shows that you have the ability to find where you belong and what suits you.

Joining a club, attending sports  events  or even relaxing privately and watching a movie are excellent ways to reduce stress as they serve as periods of mild relief from the constant hard work that a college student must perform.

Above all else, it is crucial that incoming students understand that even if they don’t adjust or make friends right away, they are never truly alone. All throughout campus, there are people who are ready and willing to listen to your problems. Do not forget that many people  have shared the same exact conflicts in the past and understand what you are going through.

Students who are suffering from the crippling sensations of homesickness or social anxiety can find their way in time as long as they keep standing tall and believing that their state of apprehension is not permanent.

As the school year begins, it is important to take time to relax and drink in the atmosphere, enjoy the ride and understand that everyone is in the same boat. And with each tiny step down the road of adjustment and self-discovery, paths are paved little by little. All we have to do is walk.

Allison Smith is a junior majoring in English.