Fear of College


As the clock ticks towards the end of their final year of high school, many seniors begin to set their minds on college and it’s unknown. Excitement, enthusiasm, and nerves bubble under the skin of the graduating class of 2019. But as the ceremony draws near and the thought of college becomes more of a reality, does a level of fear also strike the soon to be freshmen again?

High school is an environment that harbors feelings of familiarity after adjustment. It provided students with relationships, good or bad, that won’t soon be forgotten. Contrastingly, college is a place of unfamiliarity all over again. A place where one probably does not know anyone; a place where one may go from teasing new kids and freshman to becoming a freshman yet again. Senior, Veronica Seder, fears the unknown of college compared to her high school career.

“I fear that I won’t have deep, meaningful friendships, but I recognize that this fear may be irrational. I am sure that as long as I put myself out there and get out of my comfort zone that I will meet some incredible people,” said Seder.

While being alone in a new place can be quite scary for some, for others, the difficulty of their new classes is what frightens them the most about post-high school education. Tara Spridco, senior, is most apprehensive about her ability, to keep up in her classes.

“I am most scared of not being able to balance school, athletics, and a social life. I’m also worried it will be hard to handle the rigor of college classes,” Spridco said.

There are a plethora of fears every graduating senior faces as they move into college. Unfortunately, if one does not know how to cope with their trepidation, their mental and emotional states can be affected. Student Support counselor, Lori Cook, explains that as anxiety arises in the seniors, it is imperative that they find tools on campus to manage those feelings.

“Anxiety can be out of control sometimes when kids are first leaving for college. The good thing is that most universities require freshmen to take a ‘Freshman seminar’ course the first semester and it introduces all new students to how to use the tutoring services, academic advising services, and counseling services on campus. So, every college freshman should learn how to access these services before they may need to use them,”Cook said.

By going into college with practical expectations of how one’s ‘new’ life could be, anxieties can be relieved. Cook further explains how students can subsist any feelings of nervousness or anxiety.

“It is most important to have realistic expectations of what college is like. Just like high school isn’t ‘High School Musical’, college isn’t what you see on a movie either. Understand that everyone is adjusting to college life and some adjust better than others. Know that there might be a day or two that are just hard. Don’t compare your experience to your friends’ experiences at other colleges,” says Cook.

It is quite normal for seniors to feel frightened or nervous about college life. It’s important to realize that the struggle is normal and that you will find your own way of adjusting to the new environment.