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What is the best way to combat anxiety going into college?

I am an extremely shy person who gets nervous easily around new people. Like many other people, I get intimidated being in new facilities and being around people I'm not familiar with. I have a hard time talking to people and making new friends and I feel like this will worsen when I leave for college.

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Jasanpreet Kaur’s Answer

"The best way to combat anxiety before going to college"

I feel glad I am answering this question because some years back I had the same question in my mind. I feel you are lucky enough to know the answer directly while I learned with experience.

Following are the ways which you can use:

  1. Make a To-do list. (Challenge yourself every day with something new. For example - "I will talk to 2 new classmates today". Start with small talks. Then next day increase the level of your challenge. "I will talk to those 2 classmates again and 2 new classmates." ) Believe me, initially you will be scared before you start, you will feel like "What am doing?" OR "Is it right?" OR " Should I talk?" OR "I don't think so". Best way to deal with this is, just say it to yourself "STOP IT, I WILL" and go for it.
  2. Talk to professors - The best way to start the conversation is "Today, you talked about "Topic Name", I would like to know more about this" or you can start answering questions in the class. I know you must feel "What if I will answer wrong?" OR "What if she cross-questions me?". I felt the same and I felt even worse when I heard someone asking the same question or answering the same thing as I thought and in return professor praising that student the most to think in that way. So, just go for it ask and answer questions. (Remember to place this too on your To-do list).
  3. Start involving yourself in the number of extra-curricular activities. (That's another way of making friends. Since you will do coordination with the team, team interaction will help you to be at ease while interaction.)

Now some ways which you can use to make friends:

  1. Find a common topic to interact.
  2. Seek for a people who are just like you. (You will see them alone, busy with their thoughts or trying to do short talks.)
  3. Help others.
  4. Take help. (Asking for help is never wrong. Don't hesitate. I know initially you will. But once you get a good response in return your hesitation will go away.)
  5. Go out together. (Spending time with friends like this is the best way and you will feel more comfortable)

"Remember nothing is hard in our life unless we perceive it to be."
"Challenge your thoughts, control your mind and be the leader"

Go for it!

Good Luck!

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Luke’s Answer

Hi Katelyn,

This is a very common perspective when entering a new school in general, let alone college, but I found it helpful to focus more on the positives than the potential drawbacks. Having attended a college in a completely new city, I was absolutely feeling the same sense of anxiety and fears but there was also an underlying sense of freedom. No matter where you attend, you'll be a part of a new community and be surrounded by countless people in the exact same position. My word of advice is to do your best to embrace this new community, and to take advantage of all the opportunities therein (clubs on campus, sporting events on campus, etc.) since it will also be a great way to meet your peers! Whether you live on campus or at home, you'll meet plenty of people in classes, around campus, and ideally in groups that you join since that will likely serve as a sub-community of like-minded people. Enjoy the process, focus on your studies, and make as many friends/acquaintances as possible but just know that everyone entering college is coming from the same place in terms of potential anxieties and internal hesitations. A quote that stuck with me was "lead into discomfort," since that offers growth an enjoyment in the long run. I'm sure you'll do great!