It’s my second day of college and I’m hopeless

Hi, i know this might sound really dramatic but I am really just needing some reassurance right now. I feel like I hate college. I have this constant knot in my throat and my stomach is constantly hurting. I just constantly feel like I’m going to cry while I’m here. I feel like I should note that I have very very bad social anxiety and I am not very outgoing. Yesterday, my first day, was a disaster. There was basically this whole ordeal where I was late for my freshman welcome event and I Just decided not to go because I was too anxious. I don’t like walking late into rooms because everyone stares at me. I just sat in my dorm and cried. I don’t have any friends and I never got to tour my college before covid so I don’t ever know where I’m going. I even skipped dinner last night because I didn’t know how to get there and I was too anxious to ask anyone. I went to the dining hall for the first time today for lunch. I didn’t know how anything worked and it was just super scary. Some lady saw that I was a little confused and she came and helped me which was nice. But I still just feel like an idiot and scared wherever I go.
My roommate got here today and she seems nice so I hope me and her become pretty close. I just wish I could make some friends and I wish I didn’t feel this way. I just want to go home. Will this get any better??

Yes! I think all freshmen go through some anxiety in the first few days. Arrive early for class and introduce yourself to students around you. Maybe join a club or two. Do not go home - it will get better!

Yes, it will get better.

Nevertheless, if counseling is available on campus, then take advantage. Should be comforting to learn that you are not alone in experiencing anxiety.

Op- big hug.

Right now you need to pretend you are on the world’s most fabulous vacation. You’ve just landed in a foreign country and you don’t know ANYTHING- how to get from the airport to your hotel, how to order a cup of coffee, how to tell the difference between the bills and coins in a foreign country.

Ask, ask, ask. There will be juniors and seniors who are happy to show you how to work the frozen yogurt machine. There are dorm advisors who are happy to walk you through the fire drill procedures and what to do when you lose your key. There are people in the library WHO GET PAID to explain things-- wow! What an adventure.

It’s natural to want to hide-- but the first few weeks, everyone is just as confused as you are. So embrace it and figure-- “the first week is going to be super hard and anxiety producing. But by the second week I’ll know how to get dinner and where the library is and my roommate and I will figure the other stuff out together”.

Hang in there.

College gets better. A lot better. But only if you make it so. It isn’t something you can wait in your dorm room until it happens.

I would march over to the health department and set up an appointment with a counselor or therapist. Show them your post here, or at least tell them what you told us. Your anxiety is at a level that is debilitating, and that can’t go on. You acknowledged as much in your post.

I am glad your roommate is nice, but she too is adjusting to a new environment. By all means, have dinner together, but your plan shouldn’t be to use her as a crutch. The health office should be able to connect you with resources and assistance that will better serve you in the longer term.

Best of luck to you.

Your feelings are perfectly natural and you are not alone in feeling that way, however confident other people may appear. Yes, it will get much better, but not overnight. Consider all the different areas of “getting better” that you can experience. Learning your way around campus – that will get better very fast. I recommend going online and looking up campus maps, and also using Googlemaps street view, to try to get more familiar with everything. How the dining hall works – that will get better very fast, as you just have to eat there a few more times and you’ll have it all figured out. Go online and look up the dining for your university, and see if there is any relevant information about how menus and payments work, and hours of operation. The more you know up front, including what’s on the menu, the more comfortable you will feel.

As for friends, that can take some time, but rest assured, your people are there at your university somewhere. You will likely find them as you explore activities and clubs related to your interests, but you may also find them in classes or your housing, or perhaps a part-time job or research project for a professor. Hopefully your roommate (or a future roommate) will become a friend also.

For now, be kind to yourself. Feeling like you want to cry when everything around you is so strange and new and you feel lost is a natural response. I hosted exchange students from around the world, and they all cried on their first day at their American high school. By the time they left, they loved living in the U.S., and one didn’t even want to leave and go back home. You can imagine how different everything was to them – even the language was different! So you can do this! What seems overwhelming and unfamiliar now will soon be very manageable to you as time goes by, and you will start to feel at home there and confident in your studies and life.

All of your feelings are completely normal. Don’t worry, you’ve got this! I know you’re going to do great. And may I say, I just love all the positive comments on this thread.

Homesickness generally hits on the second day. That is true in sleep-away camp which is more than a week, it is true for college, and I can tell you that it is true for the military as well.

Everybody feels lost the first day they get to campus. The first day that I arrived here to where I work as a faculty member, I did not know where I was, and I needed to ask for directions at least three times.

If you have a certain level of anxiety, that will play into your feelings as well. That is more common than you can imagine.

Give yourself permission to be anxious. Give yourself permission to be homesick. I absolutely promise that it will get better.

If you are late for your freshman welcome event and are too anxious to go, allow yourself to not go without feeling bad. Stay in you room and read or take a walk. You are allowed to be anxious, and you are allowed to cut social events which are too much for you.

BTW, I know that it seems that people are staring at you when you walk into a room late, but I can absolutely promise you that it isn’t so. There are few people as self involved as 18 year olds, and nobody will be staring at you unless you were either wearing a clown suit or carrying a large pizza and a six pack of beer.

Aside from all of the great advice that people have given, I would suggest that you “nest” a bit. Personalize your space and make it your own. It will be less a strange place, and more your space.

Above all, take care of yourself.

Again, I promise that it gets better.

If all of us here could give you a collective hug, we would! I hope you can feel it! :smile: It will definitely get better, day by day, and by the end of the week even! Please know you are not alone, there are others also experiencing what you are, being away at a new college for the first time. If you are able, please also see a counselor who may be able to help you overcome the anxiety more easily. As others suggested, if you have some time, check out some clubs that may interest you. Take one day at a time but plan ahead by finding out what events may be going on. It may take a few days, a week or a month to get acclimated and feel comfortable but it will all be good! You are not alone… sending hugs and kind thoughts your way!
(edited to say, I know we can’t give each other any hugs right now, even if we were on campus with you! so virtual and social distance hugs)

Very good collective advice. I would only add that it’s ok to walk before you run. You don’t have to throw yourself into everything immediately. You can take your time. Perhaps have a goal of doing one or two new things (however small they might be) a day or every other day. In a couple of weeks, you’ll have made great progress!

It’s not a race or competition.

Be well and stay safe!

Feeling any better? I know that with all the restrictions it is hard to get out there and meet people but it will get better, and you will probably be home soon at this rate in NC schools anyway!

I just want to say thank you to all the kind words I was given on just my second day of college. I am now almost 3 months in and I am having a blast :slight_smile: I have found myself and I have gained more confidence than I ever have before. I feel like a new person and my anxiety has gotten a lot better! Thanks to all :slight_smile:


Thanks for the update! So glad to hear the good news!