Overcoming the Fear of Going Back to School
(Continued from 1)
Set a date. Make it a point to mark specific time for family. One of the best ways to insure that your family won't be neglected is to designate a
specific time to spend with them once a week. You do this for other important
aspects of your life. You go to class, work, or appointments on certain days at
certain times so why not book an appointment with your family? Have game night at
home, go for a hike together, or catch a Sunday matinee. Do whatever it is that
your family enjoys doing.
Of course, it doesn't mean ignore them the rest of the week, but make sure to
utilize this as quality time with your loved ones. Use it to communicate about what
happened during their week, what's coming up next, or whatever else is on everyone's
mind. Most of all have fun.
Get organized. Getting organized will help even the most petrified nontraditional students
overcome some of their fears. Get a planner and use it. Pencil everything in –
upcoming class times, appointments, even family date nights. Being able to see from
week to week, day to day, and hour to hour what you have to do offers a certain
comfort in itself. It gives you confidence that you can manage all you've been
given to do.
Getting a planner is not the only thing you can do to prepare. Most students are
able to get their course schedules long before their classes begin. If this is the case,
take yourself on a field trip. Walk around campus a couple times to familiarize
yourself with the buildings your classes are in. If you can walk inside the
building, take the time to locate what rooms they're in. Then go for a dry run.
See how long it takes to get from class to class. This really does alleviate
worries about being late for lectures, where to go, and how to get where you need to
Utilize resources. Familiarize yourself with and then utilize all the resources your school offers. Some
people feel too intimidated to walk around an unfamiliar campus on their own. For
some, looking at a map of all those buildings and locations is like reading a letter
in an unknown language. In this case, call the admissions office and ask if they
offer tours. Not only are you likely to feel better about where you're at, but you
might make a friend and find out you aren't the only person scared out of your wits
to be starting college.
A tour will also help you learn what other resources your school offers. You will
find out where the writing center is, and what tutors are available for other
subjects like math or science. For those who are entering with undeclared majors,
you'll be able to locate the career center to help you understand what kind of
degree or career would be appropriate for you.
Let Others Help You
In my situation, I was very blessed to have people in my life who were willing to
help me. My girlfriend's husband offered to change the oil in my car and even did
minor repairs once in a while. Friend's also aided me by taking my daughter for
play dates so I could study. When friends offer assistance, it's because they want
to see you achieve your goals. Don't be too proud to let them lend a hand. If it
came right down to it, chances are you would do the same for them.
No matter how much you plan or prepare, or how many supportive people you have in
your life, there will always be an element of fear until you've gotten into the
swing of things. Also remember that half the things we worry about never come
to pass. With a little preparation and time you will make a nice transition into
college and success will be yours - for keeps.
Lisa A. Vella has a B.A. in English writing and has been a freelance
writer for almost ten years. She writes articles on health, parenting, family life,
and current events.