September 23, 2011 by sadie.says
Got a problem? Ask away.
Hey there! My name’s Sadie Samson, and I’m an undergraduate student here at Drexel University. I love to write, listen and give my opinion, so ask away!
I’m going to be an incoming freshman student in the fall, and I’m really nervous about leaving everything behind. I’m really excited to come to college. Don’t get me wrong: it’s just that as we get closer and closer to move-in, I get more and more nervous about living on my own, and I find myself almost wanting just to stay home. Since that’s not really an option right now, I was wondering if you had any advice that could help me not be so stressed out about the whole thing. I want to be happy my first year, not wallowing for home!
The transition to college is one of the biggest transitions you’ll probably have to experience in life, so it’s completely natural to feel apprehensive about it. I’ll let you know a little secret: I was absolutely terrified when I first got here. So terrified, in fact, that my first night in college after I moved in, I didn’t go meet anyone. Instead, I locked my door and walked around my room, bawling my eyes out and unpacking my entire life onto my half of the tiny dorm room. I wanted nothing more than to call my parents, have them turn the car around, pick me up and never look back. It had only been a few hours since they’d left me, and I was already homesick. It looked to be the beginning of something miserable.
I was terrified, nervous, shell-shocked — all those things that come along with big changes. All of a sudden, I felt like I wasn’t ready for college, like all the excitement I’d felt at coming here had flown out the window. Above everything else, I felt alone.
That is, until I found a group of friends here. They made me realize that I wasn’t alone in any way; we were all going through the same exact thing. We were all a bit nervous, a bit scared, and all just wanting to feel like we weren’t alone. I promise you that the same will hold up for you, Nell.. You’ll find a group of amazing friends here, and in doing so will find a sense of home here.
Speaking of home, you don’t have to think of coming to college as “leaving everything behind” — you can decorate your side of your room with pictures of your friends and family, have Skype dates with your friends from back home, have your friends come visit you, and go visit them. Coming to college is just another step on the road to growing up — think of it as an extension of the places you call home now, not a guillotine to your life back home.
Ultimately, my advice to you is to breathe easy and remember that almost every single person who’ll be moving in with you (roommates, classmates and everyone in between) will be going through the same thing. Everyone’s nervous, wants to make friends and wants to have a great time here. When you’re feeling a bit down about being on your own the first time, remember that there are a ton of people waiting to be your friend and to explore all the great things college has to offer right alongside you. Wishing you a great year!
My boyfriend and I are on opposite co-op cycles, and he got his co-op with a biotech company up in Maine for the fall while I’ll be here in Philly taking classes. It’s a wonderful opportunity for him, and I’m really very happy and proud for him, but I can’t help but be a little bit wary about what becoming long distance might mean for us. Everyone says that if it’s meant to be, our relationship will stay strong no matter what, but there’s got to be more to it than that. Any pointers on what I can do to make this whole long-distance thing run a bit smoother?
Ah, long-distance relationships. Like any relationship, those having a bit of distance require creativity, commitment, and above all, communication. Since you won’t be seeing each other as often as you do now, it is important to establish lines of communication prior to being separated. Will you be texting a lot? Calling every night? Skype dates twice a week? Answering these questions early on will help to keep the two of you connected, while giving a sense of order to a situation that at times is bound to feel chaotic.
In addition to staying connected while apart, keeping things creative when you are and aren’t together will certainly cultivate the bond between both of you and keep the relationship as strong as it’s ever been. How about surprising him with a letter in the mail? Baking cookies and taking them up with you on the Megabus next time you visit him? Speaking of visiting, make sure to have scheduled times to see each other in person when possible. These short visits make the push through until you two are reunited that much more bearable.
Be sure to be honest and open with one another; make sure the two of you are clear about when you expect to see one another, if problems arise, and when you can expect to be together again.
P.S. Count the weekends until you see him instead of the days. It makes the time pass a lot quicker, I promise!