I am having trouble at in my college

I am currently at Gardner-Webb University to get my bachelors in nursing. I got accepted directly into the nursing program which was one of the main reasons why I came here. I am originally California and wanted to go to a school in North or South Carolina because I loved the area when I visited it a few times before looking for schools. Freshman year was not perfect but good for me. I was extremely motivated and determined to get good grades and have a good college experience. During that year, I was homesick but I thought that it happens to everyone and it would pass. That whole year I was homesick and did not help that my school turned out to be a “suitcase school” where about 99% of the students living on campus go home each weekend rather than staying on campus. I never even thought about transferring schools by the end of that year because my parents said that transferring was not an option, I had friends even if they did go home every weekend, and I was doing well in my academics. Then around the middle of my spring semester, Covid happened and everybody got sent home. That has been the BEST part of my college experience because I was at home and able to be with my friends and family. Sophomore year started and I was living in a dorm room by myself because my first roommate and best friend at Gardner-Webb committed to room with someone else this year. Fall semester was not great but I was still motivated and hung out with my friends regularly. That semester also started my new habit of crying myself to sleep because I missed home so much. I seriously considered transferring schools that semester because I wanted to be at a school where my friends did not go home every weekend and had fun activities going on every weekend to keep my mind off of home. I told my parents who were willing to support me transferring because they knew how sad I was. I was afraid to transfer though because the schools I looked at required certain courses that I was not required to have for Gardner-Webb’s nursing program, were not direct admission nursing schools, and did not allow my nursing class credits to transfer since I had already started nursing classes. I thought that I could stick it out for the next two and half years because I did not want to start a school where I was not in the nursing program, had no friends, and would have to put in an extra year of school to make up for the year I missed at the new school to fulfill the requirements. So, I decided to stay at Gardner-Webb and finished Fall semester. I went home for Thanksgiving and Christmas break which were combined so we did not have to come back for the last two weeks because of Covid. That was the highlight of the end of my Fall semester because I wasn’t left alone for days and I could be with my friends and family. Then I came back for Spring semester which had already gone off to a bad start when my school canceled spring break because of covid. The cancellation of spring break meant that I would not have a break from school to be with my family for three months until April. I also decided to move to the on-campus apartments with a couple of my nursing classmates. I thought I would be happier in the apartments because I thought me and my roommates would become really close friends since they said they hardly went home since both live out of state. It turned out that one of my roommates drives the four hours to go home almost every single weekend and if she does stay she is gone all day with her other friends. My other roommate goes to her aunt and uncle’s house or hangout with her other friends too. I was alone again and my best friend did not want to hang out with me as much anymore. Throughout this semester, she hung out with me less and less until I confronted her about it which she never answered. I have been depressed and alone this entire semester. I can’t transfer to another school because I waited too long to send applications so even if I transferred next spring semester I would have an additional year or possibly two years to get my degree. I do not know what to do anymore to try to make myself happy and motivated to do my academics. I have loss all motivation in finishing my homework early and studying a week before each test. I don’t think I can tough out another two years of being alone and depressed. Is there any ideas from anyone to make college experience more bearable so I can get through these last two years? Please for all those who respond, do not say go to the college counseling center because I tried that earlier in the semester and all the counselor said was that she could not help me.

First of all, please know that what is happening to you, is happening to a lot of students. This past year has not been normal and it has caused increased anxiety. The universities have had to change the way they operate and you, unfortunately have gotten caught in this craziness.

It’s normal for you to miss your family, and being so far away from home, does not help. Give yourself credit for dealing with some very adult problems.

No counselor, worth his/her salt, would tell a person, who needed help, that they “couldn’t help a student” who directly asked for help. Either the person was not experienced/licensed, or the person is completely incompetent.

Have your parents step in and let them know that your loneliness has disenfranchised you such that it has adversely impacted your studies. They care about you. If you plan to stay, your parents can help. They can find a counselor for you online.
If you decide that this is too tough for you; you may want to take off a year while the pandemic settles a bit. You would need to talk to your advisor and the registrar to see how that would work for you.
I just want to reiterate that this is an abnormal time and it’s been stressful for everyone, but especially for students away from home. Take care of yourself and keep reaching out for help. @Lindagaf has some great advice for students who have been in similar situations.

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I have been in your shoes. Even down to the counselor who said they couldn’t help me. My parents had never been to college and did not know how to help. I would look into taking a leave of absence as @aunt_bea suggested. You could apply to transfer while you’re on leave.

I have 2 children at college. One got incredibly homesick her first year, far away from home. I went and visited for a few days, and just knowing that I was coming perked her up. Could one or both of your parents or another relative come visit occasionally?

I’m sorry you are having a tough time. The good news is that there is a way out of this.

Why did the counselor say she couldn’t help you? That makes no sense. Please go back and ask for help from a different counselor. They are there for exactly this reason. You are not the only student at your school struggling right now.

Meanwhile, I think it’s clear that you can’t continue as things are. I suggest you do your absolute best to finish out the semester with the strongest grades you can.

Please call your parents and explain what you’ve said here. Or send them an email and ask them to read it, then discuss it with them. They love you and want to do what’s best for you. They want you to be happy. And don’t worry about disappointing them or worrying them. Trust me, they will do all they can to help you, but you will also have to be proactive and take steps to help yourself.

Make an appointment today to meet with an academic advisor. Explain you can’t continue your education at the school and ask them to help you prepare a transfer app, figure out other nursing school options, etc… If you feel embarrassed or anxious about speaking with an academic advisor, please just push yourself to do it anyway, because no one else can make that happen for you.

You probably need to take a gap semester or a gap year. You will likely have to take a few extra courses when you transfer to another program. That’s ok. It doesn’t have to derail your plans to be a nurse. It is clear you are not in the right place. Find a nursing program that will suit your needs better. That doesn’t have to necessarily be in CA, but I think it does need to be a program where most students are on living on campus all year, probably a program where a lot of the students are from out of state.

You have to be proactive and not allow yourself to get mired down in your depression. Luckily there are many telehealth providers now. Contact your health insurance company (maybe a parent can do this) and ask for the names of therapists who can see you right away. Mental health IS health. Taking care of yourself will help you take care of the other things you need to do.

This is a hard time for you, but you can get through it. You’ve taken the first steps by coming here to ask for help. In the not too distant future, this time will just be a bad memory. Be proactive and think ahead. In due course, things will get better. Big hugs to you.

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