Overcoming Anxiety When Entering Post-Secondary Education
Like any other kid fresh out of high school, I was super nervous to go to college. I had to attend school at this huge campus without any of my friends from highschool. I had to complete a bunch of applications and forms for the sake of my future, and all the while I didn’t even know if I was going to get in. Every move I made felt like it was sudden high-stakes, like I was teetering over a cliff and one wrong move would send me careening over the edge. The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, didn’t make it any better. Life was filled with anxiety and uncertainty at that point, and I thought that once I actually started attending college, things would only go downhill from there.
However, it didn’t. Despite my doubts, I got into my dream school. Of course, I still had some reservations; going into the first semester, I feared I would be leagues behind my peers. But it turned out to be fun, even with the program being online. I got to know my peers and professors really well, and college started to seem less daunting. The people around me weren’t uber-talented near-professionals like I thought, but actually had the same experiences and anxieties as me, and we all worked together to help each other out. Whenever we had questions we could always ask each other. It was nice being part of a tight-knit group, and I don’t think the experience would have been as enjoyable without the friends I made.
The professors, contrary to how high school teachers set them up to be, were also very nice and helpful. They were very understanding about the COVID-19 situation and that remote learning was very difficult for many people, in part because they themselves had a difficult time with this new technology. We also got to see many cats in the background of every Zoom call; that was always the highlight of the lecture.
This year, we were able to be back in person for a few classes, and it’s been a blast. It’s so fun meeting up with friends, working together in the studio, and catching up on all the time we spent online. It’s also pretty fun to recognize someone from their Zoom picture in real life. There is just something different about being in person, especially for an applied arts course. Class was fun online, but nothing beats being in person and making face-to-face connections.
If there’s one thing to take any from this, it’s that things aren’t as scary as they seem at first. After all, weren’t we all anxious about going to high school from middle school? From elementary school to middle school? At each step, it was scary but it turned out alright. Along every one of these turning points in our lives, there are people who can help guide us, people who’ve been exactly where we were, and gotten out successfully.
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