By: Alison Schwartz
As the school year begins, students starting their freshman year of college may experience separation anxiety. Young adults often feel conflicting emotions of anticipation and fear of embarking on this new phase in life. They are leaving the familiarity and security of home, and are faced with a new found independence which requires making choices every day, such as what food to eat and which classes to take. Incoming freshman feel overwhelmed; fortunately there are ways to help manage this anxiety.
Merely acknowledging that a transition phase will occur may help when starting life at college. This phase is often short, especially when that time is filled with meeting new people and joining clubs. Also, realizing that the majority of new freshman feel the same way and feeling nervous is normal, may ease the separation anxiety. Thinking of “what if?” scenarios may fuel anxiety and nervousness; not letting these anticipations get out of control can help reduce anxiety.
The relationship with parents may change and develop as well. Separation anxiety exists on both sides, and may manifest itself in increased bickering. Communicating with parents and recognizing that they may experience the same feelings will mature the relationship, which may help with transitioning to a more independent lifestyle. For further information on separation anxiety in parents, see Anxiety: Separation Anxiety Disorder When Your Kid is going off to College.
If you are seeking help for Separation Anxiety, contact Arista Counseling and Psychological Services at (201) 368-3700 to set up an appointment with our mental help professionals in Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY.