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Struggling to adjust

HawkhollyHawkholly Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
I'm a freshman student in college (2 hours away from home) and I'm having a seriously difficult time adjusting to my new life. I'm an only child and I've been very close to my parents and other family for my whole life. The week before I started college was terrible; I couldn't keep down food, random panic attacks, etc. It's gotten better since I've been here, and I've already gone home twice, but I still can't feeling sad and crying for hours upon hours. I've been established at my school's counseling center, take two types of anxiety medicine and signed up for group anxiety sessions (anxiety is genetic in my family from my mother's side). My parents have been very supportive and encouraging during this hard time, but it's been going on for a month and I can tell I'm starting to stress them out just by being stressed out.
I am in choir, go to weekly church events and joined a bible study group. I have two friends that came to this school with me, but one seems to be completely fine and absorbed in studying all the time and the other is my ex and this makes things a little awkward for me sometimes.
I do like my school and when I've gone home I have found myself missing it at first. But then I come back and it's just so hard. I've never been the type of person who has many friends or joins sororities and parties, I go to bed pretty early and at home I was good with texting a few select friends.
I just don't know what to do. I've heard that it will get better with time but I feel as if I will never truly be able to stop crying or freaking out at random times (especially in public). I can't focus on my studies at all--if I try to study I end up getting homesick. My roommate doesn't want to talk to me. I just don't know what to do.

Replies to: Struggling to adjust

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,068 Senior Member
    I am impressed by all the things you've done right. Give yourself some credit! It takes a while to adjust to any new place, and college involves a lot of changes.

    Continue to go to counseling, class, clubs, and church. You'll start seeing the same people. Invite someone from choir to join you for dinner or ask if someone from Bible study wants to walk into town with you. Ask people about themselves. You'll be surprised at how you find at some point that you have a friend group! If you really need to regroup, go home for a day or so, but try to commit yourself to school.

    I bet you're doing better than you think you are.
    All the stories about college exaggerate how great it is, at least at the beginning.
  • smakl70smakl70 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Keep texting those select friends from hs. I assume you're still friends and just because you aren't together daily doesn't mean you can't stay close and text.
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 621 Member
    edited September 14
    @HawkHolly. I agree that you're doing a lot of things right, and that it will just take time.

    The one thing that I can think to add is to try to get some heart-pumping exercise EVERY day! Even if you're not especially athletic or fit (maybe you are) walking a very brisk mile or two, or swimming a few laps in the college pool can work wonders for your mood. I am prone to bouts of mild depression/anxiety/irritability...I'm sure it's biologically based. And for me, nothing helps my brain restore calm and happy feelings than exercise. I don't do anything so strenuous, usually a fast, hilly walk with my dog for 30 minutes or so can help...if not always 100%, then enough to restore some hope and happiness! Also, make sure you're eating good food (dark green veggies and protein are your friends.)

    What's with your roommate? Any chance of bridging that gap, or do you think you two are just incompatible? Any friendly people down the hall that you could invite in for a for a snack? Could your parents send you a care package (i.e. homemade cookies) so you could invite neighbors in for an impromptu break? Even one friendly face in your dorm can make you feel more at home.
  • iama1styeariama1styear Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    You're 100% NOT alone. I'm a freshman in college (been here for 5 weeks). I just got done crying for the past two hours. I don't hate it here, I just don't feel like I fit in right now. I'm one of those people who had a group of friends from K-12 and I miss them (and my family) like crazy. I can't offer you any advice - I don't have any; I've joined new clubs and groups, stayed out of my room until bedtime, etc. to no avail - but I can offer you solidarity.
    High school was nothing like High School Musical, so don't believe that college will be like any of those college movies. Dont try to live up to those expectations.
    My roommates all party and I don't, I don't love a lot of the people in my classes, and it's going to be tough for you and me both. But if there's two of us, there's thousands of us out there - people like you and me who pretend they're okay but are completely miserable right now. Just know that behind smiling faces or fun instagram posts, there are people who are really, really struggling. I don't know if this helps you but it's definitely comforting to me to know that I am not alone out there.
  • HawkhollyHawkholly Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thank you guys for all the comments! Every day has gotten a little easier and I am really starting to adjust to my life here now :) Counseling and medication has helped me a lot. I only have a few good friends but I'll continue making more over time, I'm sure.

    @inthegarden We're never in the room at the same time. We both have our own individual bedrooms and just share a living space. I'm honestly not super worried about her anymore though; when I had to go to the emergency room, she said "k cool" and shut the door to her little room and locked it while I waited for the paramedics to come get me sooooo... But exercising has really helped!

    @iama1styear Has it been getting any better for you?
  • inthegardeninthegarden Registered User Posts: 621 Member
    edited September 27
    I'm glad things are getting gradually better! Gradual is good...less chance of highs. lows and crashing. And a few good friends are much better than a roomful of party acquaintances. Glad the exercising is helping...what kind(s) are you doing? Have you found things to do with your new friends or do you mostly see each other in class, etc.?

    What's with the roommate? That is incredibly cold...I mean, unbelievably. What was your emergency ? Hope everything's better on that score too. If she's like that, then I guess it's good that you don't share an actual bedroom, and that way you can invite over the people you do like without bothering her.
  • HawkhollyHawkholly Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    @inthegarden I've found that walking around the track at the school's rec center really relaxes me. I watch TV shows with them sometimes and eat meals with them occasionally or play games, but I've really been a person that normally enjoys some alone time so it doesn't bother me if I don't see them every day. I mostly see them in class though.

    I actually had to go to the ER for a panic attack I woke up with about 2 fridays ago. It was so scary, I thought I was having a literal heart attack. I haven't had any episodes like that since then at all though.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,184 Senior Member
    Glad things are looking up for you. That roommate, wow! She's a piece of work.
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