Worries about going to college

I move to Nashville soon to go to college, and I have managed to not think about college for a while now. but now its slowly starting to come into my mind that I’m leaving. I wouldn’t say I’m scared but I’m definitely nervous. I stay at home 24/7, don’t really have a social life, and am just too much of an introvert.

the main cause of why I’m nervous is my brother. I’m so scared to leave him. he’s 12, and he’s my best friend. we moved across the country with our family together and definitely have a very close relationship. I’m scared that once I leave, he’ll either freak out, or I will. the last thing I want is for him to be upset over me leaving, and I already know I’m gonna be upset leaving him behind and going off on my own into a new city that I know nothing about. I know that we will keep in touch, I just feel like I’m gonna have separation anxiety because I won’t get to see him as much.

another thing I’m worried about is my mental health when I go off to college. my roommate is very nice and understanding but I don’t want her to witness me having panic attacks and breakdowns. I don’t know what I’m gonna do or how I’m gonna handle myself. I’m considering getting therapy once I go off to college, since I don’t feel comfortable doing it here with my parents around, but I still don’t know. I don’t know what I’m gonna do if I start to cry and can’t stop it and have a breakdown. I have no techniques to help myself besides the See, Touch, Feel, Hear, Taste technique. I feel like I’m gonna be so nervous and overwhelmed that I’ll forget everything I’ve learned on how to calm down (which isn’t a lot).

I know that these worries aren’t that big of a deal, but I’m seriously starting to worry.


Hey Nicole,

Moving away from your family to go to school is a huge life step, and I don’t think there has ever been a single person who wasn’t at all nervous about it. That’s okay. Big changes are scary, even when they’re for the better and changes we chose to make ourselves. You’re allowed to worry, as long as it’s bearable.

I’ve had my older brother move out, and I’ve moved away from my family. And the thing is, you will miss your brother. Probably a lot, considering that you two seem to have a really close relationship. And he will miss you too. There’s nothing you can do about that. But unless you’re planning to live with him for the rest of your life, that day would come eventually anyway. It’s gonna take some time to get used to not having him around, but eventually it gets easier. You’re gonna have a lot of new things to get used to and a new city to explore, you’ll be quite busy settling down. The best you can do is text your brother and take a lot of photos to send him, tell him about the new things you’re experiencing and the new places you go to. He will miss you, and he’ll want to know what you’re up to. It will be really hard for a while - from few weeks to half a year depending on a person - but keeping in touch makes it easier and you’ll both be okay in the end.

What comes to not showing your roommate your panic attacks - I personally don’t think that’s a good idea. If they’re understanding of your situation, you shouldn’t feel the need to hide these things. There’s nothing wrong or embarrassing in getting overwhelmed, and if you tend to get panic attacks in stressful situations, it would be better for both of you if you let them help you when it happens. When you live with someone, being as open as possible about these kind of things makes it easier for both of you to be considerate and prepare for situations that could trigger a breakdown.

Good luck with college! I have no doubt you’ll find some cool new friends and hobbies, and I hope you keep us updated on how you’re doing :slight_smile: :heart:

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Hey, nicole.

College is both an exciting and nerve wracking time. I totally get where you’re coming from. I didn’t even move away from home to attend, so I can about imagine the amount of stress that you’re feeling.

My 13 year old sister is my best friend, and she moved to Massachusetts with our mom ( I live in Louisiana ) - I know that heartache. I would recommend video chatting whenever you get the chance, taking every opportunity you guys have to visit, or even have a phone call. It’s so hard not being there, but college isn’t forever.

Also, don’t be ashamed to go to therapy, or even have a breakdown. It’s okay. I’ve learned in my college experience, that often people are going through the same thing and can be very understanding. For anxiety and panic attacks, breathing deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth is good for calming the nerves - I’d also recommend practicing yoga and meditation. Give it a try and see if it helps you! It has helped me, tremendously. And try out that therapy!

No shame in taking care of yourself. :slight_smile:
Stay strong!


Hey @nicole_kaley,

Which school in Nashville!? I currently live in Nashville and graduated from Belmont University. :slight_smile: If you’re into the church scene, I highly recommend checking out The Belonging. I moved to Nashville in 2015 (from California), and after church-hopping a bit, The Belonging turned out to be my favorite by FAR.

Anyway, I digress. Please remember that what you’re going through is 100% normal (in fact, if you weren’t nervous about going to college then I would be concerned). Everyone is different, however the following phases usually happen upon moving away to college:

  • Severe anxiety leading up to being immersed into the new world of college.
  • The “honeymoon” phase upon beginning college, which lasts about a month.
  • The “homesick” phase, which lasts about until Christmastime.

I highly recommend seeking out counseling once you’re in college. I don’t know about other schools, but you get to see a professional for free (as a part of your tuition). You’re strong! You got this! Please keep us updated, and let me know if you’d like more tips about Nashville! I personally love it here so much, like, I wish I grew up here. :slight_smile:



Thanks for all the support and helpful tips, these comments made me feel a lot better about the situation:)

I’m going to Lipscomb University to study film production:) I’m excited but nervous because I know no one there, so this will definitely be an experience ha that’s cool that you went to school there Eric! I am into the church scene, so I’ll definitely check that church out:)

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Hi nicole!
Hey, i’m currently on my 6th year off home for going to college. It’s been tough, but you will manage. As an introvert you will find there’s a lot of benefits on independent life, and there’s always someone you can talk to y you feel lonely: your brother. Don’t mind calling him or anyone in your family, because it’s a hard step the one you’re taking.

And one more thing, when one goes to college, one gets to find people that are surprisingly similar to you, your future classmates will probably have the same struggles, same music tastes, same behaviors or even same ice cream favorite flavor than you. Remember they made their decisions so they ended in the same place as you. With this in mind, finding new friends will be easier. So hop up and use those nerves in your favor, change anxiety for exciting, you will do amazing.

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It’s been a few days but as a fellow introvert I wanted to write about that part to let you know it’s important and okay to take time for yourself to recharge, and people will be understanding if you tell them why. There’s a lot going on, and a lot of things to do, both exciting and not, and I always do better if I make sure I have downtime scheduled when for I get peopled-out. I also learned to tell people why I was skipping the party or needed to study by myself for a bit or whatever, so they knew it wasn’t personal.

Everything that is new for you is also new for a lot of other people there too. The good news is college was the first place I made friends who I felt liked me for who I was, rather than how useful I was. We believe in you and are here to support you any time you need it.

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These worries and fears are normal . I understand what it is like to go away to college and deal with mental illness. I would recommend going to therapy or seeing a counselor . That is one thing that helped me a lot. Also look into what your school offers . Sometimes they can offer help or
places that they refer to. People say that college is where you find friends that will let a lifetime and that is true. You will find people that are similar to and walk life together. I never thought I would met people so accepting and they were . Good luck for the school year . You got this ! We believe in you ! Keep us updated

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Hey Nicole,

University is going to have a lot of ups and downs and that is okay. It is exciting and can be scary at the same time. I get that you are scared of leaving your brother and you have every right to be. Hang out and enjoy the time you have together and know that while you are at school he is only a phone call, text or face time call away. If your school has a family weekend maybe he could come visit you. With your mental health it is okay to go and talk to a counselor or therapist, I did that when I first started university and it has helped me in many ways. It might take a while for you to be comfortable with talking to a therapist or even connecting to a therapist that will work for you and that is okay. Have you talked to your roommate about your concerns with panic attacks? If you think you can and are comfortable doing so let her know how she can help you if you experience one. I wish you the best of luck in your first year.

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