Transitioning from high school to college is never easy, but it can be even harder when you have any type of anxiety. Going to college can be stressful under even the best of circumstances; everything from admissions to attendance can trigger all sorts of anxious feelings. Luckily, there are a variety of ways you can better prepare for both the college application process and attending your first day of classes. While it may take an investment of time and energy, your mental health is worth prioritizing, especially as you start such an important phase of your life. Taking care of yourself is essential if you want to perform to the best of your ability. Keep reading to learn more about how to approach college when you’re dealing with severe anxiety.
How do you prepare for college?
Getting into your dream school can be difficult with how competitive college admissions and the college admissions process has become. Selective colleges in the United States like Stanford and Yale are offering fewer students admission than ever. A college admissions advisor can ease your stress during the application process and help you get accepted to top universities. Their years of experience and unique approach can help give high schoolers and other college applicants an edge when it comes to crafting admissions essays (and supplemental essays) for selective universities.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the most selective college isn’t necessarily the college for you. It’s important to focus on the best fit, which college admissions counseling can help you find. A college admissions counselor or admissions consultant can also identify your strengths and weaknesses and help you address them, in addition to asking important questions about what school will be right for you. Your teachers and educators may also be able to offer advice about the admissions process and how to impress the admissions office.
Once you’ve been accepted to your dream college, you’ll need help getting ready and completing the enrollment process. One of the best ways to manage anxiety before starting at school is to make sure you’re well-prepared. If you need financial aid, sort out the details and paperwork with your financial aid counselor as soon as you can, especially if you’ll need help from your parents. Create a shopping list for your dorm and your school supplies, as shopping early can help you save money too.
What can you do to help with anxiety?
When it comes to dealing with your anxiety on a day-to-day basis, there are a number of coping strategies you can incorporate into your routine. Preparation is one of your best weapons against unnecessary stress, even if that means talking through presentations a few extra times. Another option is to connect with your high school counselor or a college counselor at your new school and see if student services can help you find a mentor who can give you advice every step of the way.
Anyone with persistent and ongoing mental health struggles should consider reaching out for professional help to evaluate their treatment options. It’s easier than ever to find personalized therapy both online and in person. Some colleges offer counseling, though a private counselor may be better suited to address your needs. Therapeutic intervention may be necessary for high school or middle school as well, as teens and young adults struggle with mental health just as much as adults do.
Having anxiety can be difficult, but it’s especially tough to deal with during the transition to life as an undergraduate. Thorough preparation is one of the best tools for managing anxiety. Having a mentor is another smart way to gain insight into what you can expect from the right college, in addition to helping you make social connections at your new school. You can reach out to your school’s college counseling office for help if you want to connect with a student or talk about what help may be available to you when you’re on campus. While anxiety can present additional challenges, you’re more than capable of tackling your anxiety and getting off to a great start on your college journey.