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One College Student's Experience With Living Away From Home

By Katie Schultz

At the start of the 2014 school year, Karen Flowers began her freshman year of college at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, along with 695 other freshman according to the Messiah College website. Like most college students, it was Flowers' first time moving out of her parent's home for a lengthy period of time.

According to a survey conducted by the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment, 57% of college women and 40% of college men felt "overwhelming anxiety". Flowers admits, "at first I didn't have much anxiety or homesickness because there was a lot of activities going on to occupy my mind. Towards the end of finals I started to miss home due to the stress, but nothing that affected me emotionally or physically." However, she does admit that she had her struggles. "I had to budget my time by myself, and that was a bit of a hard transition for me, I couldn't rely on my mom anymore for that.

According to a survey from UCLA's Cooperative Institutional Research Program in 2012, students are spending more time studying than in the past. Flowers agreed to that statement and offered her own advice to upcoming freshman, "start early on getting good study habits and budgeting your time. Set mini goals for major projects throughout the semester to relieve workload and stress later on."

Flowers concludes that she's "definitely excited for the new adventures that the new school year holds. I know I'll have more course work, but it's nothing I can't handle."

In fall of 2014, it was expected by the Institute of Education Sciences that around 21 million students would be enrolled into American universities and colleges. Not all experiences are the same, and proper action should be taken if anxiety and stress is too much to handle. Students can find help at their college resource centers to ensure a healthy, positive, and successful school year.
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