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Photo taken by Tre Spencer | For The Post

Eliminate College Anxiety

Published August 15, 2022

Tips with Tate: You don’t need to have it all figured out when you start college

By Tate Raub | Opinion Editor

Before you even start college there can be a lot of pressure and anxiety about what’s to come once you’re officially on campus. Even submitting college applications can be very overwhelming and that feeling can be quite miserable. For me, there was (and sometimes still is) a looming thought of whether or not I was doing things “right.” Here’s what I wish I knew that could’ve saved me a lot of worrying:

You don’t need to feel 100% confident in your major.

Despite what I had been told by my family, friends and teachers, I felt like I couldn’t go into college undecided. I had done my research while I was applying to schools and came up with a general idea of what I wanted to do, but I felt like I needed to have my whole college and post-college life planned out. It took for me to actually exist in the track I had chosen to realize that some tweaks needed to be made. I felt disappointed in myself for not figuring out what I wanted sooner but the weight of being unhappy quickly lifted and everything felt right again. All in all, I wish I would’ve had a healthy amount of pressure on myself to make sure I was on track for when I wanted to graduate while also enjoying the experience of exploring and learning new things while I figured everything out.

Make sure you like your advisor.

I had long been told that, generally speaking, you have to have your major, minor and certificates decided by the end of your sophomore year in order to graduate in four years. I was able to figure out my major shortly before then, but it took until the absolute last second for me to declare a minor because I wasn’t being provided the guidance I asked for when I explained to my advisor that I didn’t know what direction I wanted to take and what would work well with my major. I finally got the help I wanted after talking to an advisor at the Harris Student Support Center within the Scripps College of Communication and I only wish I had booked that advising appointment sooner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you and your advisor are not a well-matched pair because it really can only help you in the long run.

Don’t compare yourself to others.

It’s easy to look at what others are doing and feel like you’re less than because of your grades, the classes you chose to take or the internships you did or didn’t get. It’s kind of cliche, but everyone is different and has to do things their own way in order to get to their end goals. Even people with the exact same majors and minors will still do things differently. Sure, you might decide to take a class with one of your peers or end up in the same classes unintentionally, but not everyone learns the same way. Even if you have similar things you want to accomplish, everyone naturally does things in the way that works best for them. Don’t give yourself more things to worry about and trust that you will get to where you’re meant to be. Trust your intuition and do what makes you the happiest and you will be just fine.

Prioritize your happiness.

If it hasn’t been made clear yet, I wish someone had told me how important it is to stop people-pleasing and do what would make me the best version of myself, inside and outside of academics. The moment I let go of what other people might be thinking about my choices, life became a lot brighter. I finally understood what people meant by having healthy stress. Additionally, it’s okay to have high standards for the people you surround yourself with. Don’t think twice about toxic people because the people that are meant to be in your life will show you what healthy relationships are supposed to be like and actually make you feel appreciated.

Tate Raub is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tate know by tweeting her@tatertot1310.

AUTHOR: Tate Raub
EDITOR: Megan Diehl
COPY EDITOR: Lauren Serge