College is scary!

Dear Mesmerizing Meg: I’m 19 and this is my second year living away from home. Last year was fine, but this year I’m always scared and anxious. I do go back home from time to time, and everything seems to be fine when I’m there (or at least okay); but when I’m away, I always have fear for no apparent reason. I feel like something bad is gonna happen most of the time. And there are times, usually at night, that I feel like I’m actually dying. Last night I saw a nightmare and when I woke up, for the rest of the day, I still “felt” the nightmare. I felt like it actually happened and I was scared and had this really unpleasant feeling. It always gets worse at night. What’s wrong with me? 

Kind querent: I’m honestly not sure. It could be anxiety, but it could also be a handful of other issues. Although I have no certainty what’s wrong, I do have some suggestions.

  • You could move back home, assuming your college is in town.
  • You ought to see your college’s campus counselor.

College can be a very stressful transition. My first year of college was pure hell. Don’t feel that you have to push yourself to live in the dorms! It’s okay to live at home and commute. I think that might be best for you.

What I’m concerned about is that you might be taking on too much, e.g., by living away from home. Extreme stress can awaken any underlying health condition, including mental health issues. So you’ve got to make some lifestyle changes that will help keep your life less stressful.

The only other possibility (that I can think of) about what’s going wrong is that your intuition’s screaming at you that you’re not living in a safe environment. Does that sound accurate at all? If so, then you should definitely move home. You’re nineteen. You’ve got your whole life to be independent.

2 thoughts on “College is scary!

  1. It does look like anxiety to me, although indeed it could be something different as well. Not everyone is cut out for living wherever life throws them – for some it will be a fun adventure and an interesting way to learn new things about life and people and themselves, while for others it will be a sheer nightmare and potentially cause some further, worse problems, having the opposite effect from what they woould expect – perhaps the letter writer just happens to be in the second category and maybe has some struggles with adaptation or something. My Mum went to college far from home at 17 and her stress levels were so high that she had to go back home after a year. If the letter writer’s case isn’t that she is in some particular college that she has always wanted to go to, to study something specific, and there is no possibility of doing it closer to home, I agree with you and think there’s really no point in pushing yourself for all means to do college and live in dorms just for the sake of it and being independent. There are more important things in life, like one’s mental health. You don’t have to live on the other end of the world from your hometown and what’s familiar to you to be truly independent, especially if that doesn’t feel comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree. I lived in the dorms (as per requirements) freshman year of college, but then I moved home, because–get this–my small liberal arts college is literally seven blocks up the street from here. I guess I’m glad I had the dorm experience, but I didn’t bond with anyone in my suite. It wasn’t horrible, though, but I can see how it could be horrible under the wrong circumstances. And I’m totally with you that no one should be a hero where their mental wellbeing is concerned!!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: