The truth is that anxiety is a normal feeling for a lot of high school students who are transitioning to college. Friends and family have surrounded you for the majority of your years and now you’ll be on your own. You’ll be exploring a new place and making new friends. And it is no secret that anxiety is a common emotion. There are a few different ways to handle anxiety especially when you are leaving home for the first time. 

Ways to Manage Your Anxiety When Leaving for College

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    When you are experiencing anxiety while being away from home it is referenced to being homesick. This is a completely normal response to being separated from the people, places, and overall things that give you a sense of belonging. Homesickness derives from being attached to these things. Another way to look at it is when you feel homesick you are feeling insecure or uncomfortable. You are missing the fact that you had a consistent and stable sense of living. It is important to remind yourself that it is okay to step out of your comfort zone and experience something new. 

    7 ways to deal with the nerves of leaving for college

    These steps are things you can try while you are away at college. Here are some of the best ways to stay prepared and at ease when leaving home for college.


    Visit the campus therapist

    If you know that homesickness and/or anxiety are something that you struggle with, it would be a good idea to reach out to the on-campus therapist. They’re there to help you talk through what you’re going to experience and the feelings you’re encountering. Therapy is one of the best ways to cope and handle anxiety. Talking to someone who is completely removed from your situation can bring a sense of comfort and allow you to open up to someone new.


    Communicate with your RA or your roommate

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    If you’re staying in an on-campus dorm, your resident advisor (RA) is an underrated resource. Resident advisors are trained to deal with freshman experiences and can lead you the right way. Your roommate can easily be your first friend in college and the foundation of building a circle of people you can confide in.

    If they know you’re experiencing anxiety, they’ll be able to help you control your environment. 


    You don’t have to attend every event

    Within your first year of college, you’ll encounter a newfound sense of social liberty. You’ll make your own decisions, have no curfew, and have a lot of opportunities to attend events on-campus. You will feel pressure to attend them all but, don’t feel pressured to. There will be many other opportunities for you to get to know more people and the campus culture. Focus on yourself and settle in. 


    Stay busy

    With that in mind, try to find to a balance in the activities and responsibilities you take on. Don’t close yourself away. Staying distracted and focusing on your studies can make your comfort level rise and calm your anxiety. This is the best way to lead to a more comfortable feeling in your new home. 



    One of the best ways to reflect and release your emotions is journaling. This has been a long-practiced tactic and has proven to work countless times. Your emotions are valid and the best way to get them out of your head is to put them on paper. If you develop a routine similar to the one you had at home, the comfort of journaling can be carried to your new home as well. 


    Have a backup plan

    In the end, if you know you need a break or feel completely overwhelmed you can always go back home for the weekend. It’s important to always have a plan especially when your mind is feeling vulnerable. If going home isn’t always an option, you should develop a task that always puts your mind at ease. Have something ready and available to use when you need it. 


    Give yourself credit

    Lastly, pat yourself on the back. You deserve it! You’ve put yourself in a completely new position and you are doing your best to stay in control. Stay positive and grow with the new experience you have been given. And remember that there are tons of people both on and off-campus that are there to help you. 

    Summarizing leaving home for college

    At the end of the day, you are experiencing a new environment and trying to transition without any added

    stress. Try to stick to the best coping mechanisms for you. This could be journaling, talking to friends, or keeping a busy schedule. Know that there are always things that you can fall back on, but you can also grow in a new environment.