Happy student life
Sometimes it's hard to keep your head together when everything around you is new and weird. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to help yourself stay chilled and cope with the changes.
It isn't all good, but that's OK
A few weeks into the term, most of us find that the reality of being at college doesn't live up to the fantasy. Life among the hallowed halls isn't perfect 24-7. The bills and essays stack up, and you have to learn new ways of studying. Perhaps you're on the wrong course. Long-distance relationships feel the strain, the accommodation sucks, and making new best mates takes longer than you thought.
Don't expect perfection
You will have a few bad days, it's a fact of life. Most of us arrive with unrealistic expectations of how college should be. Sometimes it's good to downgrade these ideas to something more grounded in reality. Things often work out fine in the long term, even if they don't start off so well.
You can make it easier for yourself by getting on top of your life, rather than letting it get on top of you. Tackle problems one at a time, breaking them down into small steps, and they won't seem so overwhelming. Start by getting the essentials sorted out: money, health, housing, food, coursework.
Remember the fun stuff
Doing a degree isn't just about getting the grades, it's about gaining all-round life experience, and that includes stuff that you do just for the sake of enjoyment. Try to find yourself an interest that completely takes your mind off everyday worries, even if it's only for an hour a week. Make regular contact with friends and family back home, and try to make new friends on campus.
Look to the future
Leaving home to study is bound to throw up new challenges, and be quite daunting, even downright scary at times. While you shouldn't try to take on too much all in one go, it's equally important not to completely avoid trying new things. A little bit of anxiety every now and then is good for you, and overcoming your fears can bring a great sense of achievement.
You may decide that you need to improve your study skills, your time management, or you want to learn how to relax and how to cope with stress better. If so, try to seek out some help before it becomes a major problem. Most colleges and larger towns have support groups and classes for this, look on notice boards or in the local library for contact details.
If you're feeling a bit under the weather, or mildly stressed out, remember to meet your basic needs as well as you can. It will make things much easier on you. Eat healthy regular meals, take some time out to relax, and get some gentle regular exercise. Avoid withdrawing from your social circle, and try not to blot things out with alcohol or other drugs - the problems will still be there when you sober up.
If you are suffering from anxiety, stress, or depression and it does get too much, confide in someone you can trust: a course tutor, your doctor (GP), or student counselling services. You really don't have to suffer alone, and there is no shame in asking for help.
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