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Freshman Year | Moving to College | August 2012

College Anxiety: Get Over Your Fear of Moving to College

By Kevin Hagan | For StudentAdvisor.com

Tropophobia is the fear of moving or making changes.

Does the thought of your impending move to college make you nauseous? Does it trigger a dry mouth and clammy hands? Does your heart feel like it’s going to pound right out of your chest? Do your legs turn to rubber bands? You may be suffering from college-induced tropophobia, and some major college anxiety.

Get Over Your Fear of Moving to CollegeThe Symptoms
•    You experience uncontrollable anxiety when you think about your upcoming move and starting college.   
•    You feel that you must do everything possible to avoid the change.
•    You are unable to function normally in other areas of your life because of your anxiety.
•    Even though you realize that your fear is unreasonable, you feel powerless to control it.

The Treatment
Treatment comes down to redirecting your mind to take early and positive steps to plan your move and deal with this life-changing  event. Even though you know your tropophobia is illogical, it likely happens because your subconscious has linked some powerful negative emotions and memories to the very thought of move day. Everything that could go wrong is part of your sleepless nightly anxiety.

While I am no psychologist, I can offer five very positive steps that you can take to prepare for your move to college that will help you overcome your fear.

1.    Contact your future roommate to start a conversation. Don’t just focus on what items you’re each bringing to college, but ask them what their interests are, what classes they’re taking, and what clubs they want to join. If you find that you have lots of things in common, great! If not, you can still both bond over how exciting and nerve-wracking starting college is.

2.    Look into campus programs. During moving week, most colleges have a variety of ice-breaker activities to help smooth the move-in process. Research these ahead of time so you can meet new people who are going through the same emotions as you are. Also, look into campus activity groups that you want to join in the future. Looking forward to joining a club or being part of Greek life can calm your anxiousness.

3.    Create a packing plan. While you don’t want to pack too early, it can help your anxiety to create a plan of action. By organizing all the things you have to take with you, you are mentally preparing yourself for the move and in turn, subduing your fears.

4.    Prepare a few items that remind you of home. Because most high school students have never lived away from their families, it’s common to experience homesickness when you arrive at college. Before you leave, take photos and pack nostalgic items, like a high school sweatshirt, to bring with you. When you’re having a hard time being away from your loved ones, look at the mementos and remember how proud they are.

5.    Spend time with your family and friends. If you spend too much time dwelling on your anxieties, you’re going to miss out on great times this summer. Don’t groan next time you have a family dinner. Gladly sit down and really enjoy each other’s company. Hang out with your friends as much as you can. Go to the movies; hang out at a park, or anything else! This will help you take your mind off of the move, and make the most your summer.

In the end, stop worrying and get some sleep, everything will be alright. Enjoy college because before you know it, you’ll be graduating and about to make the next move of your life into adulthood!

This guest post was provided by Kevin Hagan of Transit Systems, one of the nation’s leading residential and commercial long distance moving companies. TSI specializes in furniture shipping, and can assist you with any of your shipping services. For more information about TSI, visit their website or follow TSI on Twitter @TransitSystems.

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