Anxiety and moving out for college

Roisin talks about moving out of home and dealing with her anxiety

Written by Roisin Murphy


Moving away from home for college isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. My stomach churned the first morning I woke up in my new surroundings on my first day of college. Although I wanted to try the whole living away from home thing, I still wasn’t completely sure if it was for me, but I had to give it a try. Throughout the first month or so, I mainly felt lonely, upset and completely overwhelmed. As someone that suffers from anxiety and depression anyway, you can imagine that this only added to it. I was quite proactive in my approach, and did my best to put myself out there, make friends, see the college counsellor, and talk to the college doctor about getting back onto my medication for a while, just to ease my symptoms of anxiety.

All of this seemed to be working a bit, and I could almost see a light at the end of the tunnel, until I faced a personal tragedy when my uncle died just before Christmas. After this, I truly wanted to be at home even more. I dreaded travelling back to college every Sunday evening, and longed for the weekend when I could be at home. Don’t get me wrong, my class in college were full of kind, friendly people, and I did have friends, but I just never felt like I was in the right place, or fitted in properly.

It was in late January, on the night that I was to return to college after the Christmas break that I finally broke down. I could have dropped out there and then, if it wasn’t for my family who calmed me down, and tried to get me to see sense for a moment. It was my dad who suggested that I try to transfer to a nearby college that had the same course as I was doing, so that way I could live at home, still study what I wanted to, and not lose out on my first year, since I could transfer right into second year.

Having that thought, that I only needed to get through another five or six months, motivated me to get back to college, work hard, and try everything I could to get my transfer. Thankfully I was successful in my transfer request, and now I’m able to live at home, commute only 25 minutes to college, and manage my depression and anxiety a lot better than I could when I was away.

A lot of people can’t understand why I want to live at home, after having the freedom of living away, but truthfully, I didn’t have freedom when living away. I was almost unable to make myself do anything outside of college due to being crippled with anxiety and depression. The advice I would give to anyone thinking about living at home for college is if you feel like it’s the best option for you, then do it. It’s your life, and you need to do what makes you most happy and comfortable, not what you feel pressured to do by society, or your peers. Living at home also relieves a huge financial strain, as most likely you will not have to pay rent to your parents, or pay that much for food shopping.

To sum up, I would say that living at home while going to college is a great option if it’s what you want. You may feel pressured to move away because it seems that’s what everyone else is doing, but living away isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay.

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