A Student’s Guide to Dealing with Separation Anxiety

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This is a guest post by Louise Baker. If you’d like to guest post on this blog, click here.
Unless you’re going to a local college and staying at home, going off to college can cause its separation anxietyfair share of separation anxiety. Depending on which university you choose, you may not know anyone and be concerned about making new friends, losing touch with old ones, and you may also be worried about leaving your parents. Overcoming anxiety totally is difficult but there are plenty of ways to decrease anxiety and truly enjoy your time away at college.

Keep Connected to Those Back Home

With today’s technologies, keeping up with family and friends is a snap, even if they’re scattered throughout the country. Many cell phone plans offer unlimited text capabilities for a set fee per month, so make sure everyone has your number. Take advantage of free instant messaging services such as those offered by MSN, Yahoo, or AOL. Skype is another online tool you can use to make free calls to other users. Staying connected will help you feel more secure and involved with your loved ones who are far away. Overcoming anxiety requires some work on your part and technology may be one of those tools that can help.

Make New Friends

It may seem counter-intuitive to make new friends when you are missing your old ones like crazy, but friends are an emotional and social support system. Your old buddies don’t expect you to live in another city for four years and remain ‘loyal’ to them by shutting out new people. You can never have too many friends! Reach out to those with common interests at college, explore the possibility of being in a relationship, and don’t be shy about mixing new and old friends once the semester is over. Once you’ve established new relationships, you won’t feel so alone at school.

Know That You Are Not Alone

Keep in mind that lots of other students are also feeling anxious. Separation anxiety is not limited to freshmen. A lot of your classmates are going through the same emotions you’re feeling. Some students feel so lonely and isolated that they fail at school and end up back at their parents’ house in only a semester or two. Don’t

let your negative feelings get in the way of forging ahead in your class work and your new social life.

Stay Active and Eat Right

Exercise has been proven time and time again to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Joining an intramural sports team, going for a jog, or even walking through the campus can lift your mood and keep your spirits high. A well-balanced diet is also essential for maintaining a positive attitude and feeling healthy. Set a new routine and stick to it.

Don’t let separation anxiety ruin your college experience. Overcoming anxiety is possible if you keep yourself fit, healthy, and engaged with others. Remember to stay connected with your existing pals and your parents on a regular basis. These tips will help you feel more at ease at school.

Louise Baker writes about online schools for Zen College Life.

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