Top Three Tips for Overcoming your Study Abroad Anxiety
1. Remember: You are NOT ALONE.
Studying abroad can be shockingly different from what you’re used to, and anxiety makes fears for that run rampant. Anxious people like our quiet and consistency. I grew up on a secluded farm in a small town. I’m currently going to a 94-acre liberal arts college situated in a peaceful suburban area. Both places are definitely quiet and consistent. I’ll be studying abroad in a city, a place at odds from what I’m used to. This overwhelms me. Here’s my plan: Remembering the people surrounding me on all sides and across countries who are there to help my orientation into a completely new experience. Google maps, my friends and family, the professors at the University, and the staff members at my program’s institution. I will not be alone, and neither will you. Utilize your resources!! Don’t be afraid to call people when you need help!!
2. When packing, don’t bring your doubts with you.
Easier said than done, I know. Confidence is a tricky thing. My problem is that I get really excited for something months in advance, but then it’s the day before whatever that thing is, and my excitement is extinguished. It’s an aggravating pattern, and will certainly occur before I leave to go abroad. Anxiety does that, letting your doubts get the best of you. But I don’t want to let this apprehension control me, and you shouldn’t either. Don’t let it get in the way of your excitement. I’m going to do my best to actively stop putting myself down or thinking I can’t do it. Banish the negativity!! As I pack and prepare, I’ll focus on the positive. Make lists of all the good instead of the bad! Do breathing exercises, too, to stay calm and focused.
Some useful links:
#Selfcare is one of my favorite apps. It’s great to help calm down and refocus when feeling overwhelmed: https://truluv.ai/
Something about mind numbing exercises to get your mind off of things and help you relax. This website is perfect for that: http://weavesilk.com/
3. Find recipes!!!
If you have to cook for yourself while abroad and also don’t like doing it, like I do, then remember this: It’s actually a great time to recharge and take a break. It’s also a good time to practice your cooking skills. My plan is to compile a list of recipes I’m actually excited to try, and cook them in the time before I go abroad. I’ll stop eating all my meals at my on-campus dining hall every night, and instead prepare some dishes a few days a week. It’ll help me feel more confident in my cooking and for my time abroad, because I’ll have recipes I know how to cook and that I like. Being prepared takes the stress away. :)
Here are some recipes I’ll be trying: