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Old 08-05-2003, 11:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
Happy as a hippo
 
StormBerlin's Avatar
 
Location: Southern California
Just need a little advice.

This is my first time posting a thread, and I feel kinda dumb but I really need some advice.
I just moved out of my house (I'm eighteen) up to Salt Lake City to go to school and Its my first time out on my own. I live with my boyfriend of two years. It seems like lately all I want to do is cry and I don't even want to leave the house. It's alot worse at night, but during the day all I want to do is sleep, then at night I can't sleep (I don't sleep during the day because I work), so basically I am getting minimal sleep. MY boyfriend is wonderful and is so supportive and instead of leaning on him for support, I take my frustrations out on him. And I feel so bad because he has problems of his own that he's dealing with so I don't think its fair for me to unload on him. I'm just so sad all the time. I miss my parents, my old city, my dog. I don't know if all this is worth it. I want to prove to everyone that I can do it (no one thought I would.), but the thought of school starting on the 20th just makes me even more anxious. I'm also worried about money, so that adds to it too. I mean i'm not poor, but I'm constantly paranoid that something is going to break on me (like my car) and I wont be able to afford to fix it. Just stuff like that, and I lose sleep over all of this. That's all I do all night is just run scenarior through my head of what could happen. It's driving me crazy and I just want some advice on how to cope. Thanks guys. I read all the other threads and see how much you help all of the others, so thank you in advance for anything that can help me, even if it's just encouragement.
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: who the fuck cares?
Actually, what you are going through is quite normal (yeah, hard to believe). You do need someone to talk to outside of your group of friends. Check to see if your school has a counseling department (I don't mean guidance, I mean more along the lines of a support system). Some schools offer this to freshmen since it is quite a stressful time in their lives.

Part of what you are feeling is a bit homesick. The rest is real life. Money is the root of all evil. And we all wonder if something is going to happen that we can't afford no matter how much money we have. Just think of it this way: whatever happens, happens. If I can't afford it, I find a way to. If it came down to your car needing repairs that you couldn't afford, I am sure family would help, no questions asked. So, you see. Nothing to worry about.

I think you've taken a wonderful first step to total independence. Keep a positive outlook on things, and everything will work out just great. But always remember that life is not all easy sailing. There are uphill battles to fight all the time. Some we win, some we lose. Just need to learn how to take the ones we lose and use that information to better ourselves.

Congratulations on your advancement in life.
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Old 08-06-2003, 05:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
My future is coming on
 
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Location: east of the sun and west of the moon
Honey, I feel for you. I have been in your shoes and I know it's not a fun place to be.

I had the same kind of panic-stricken feelings when I first went to school, too. I was living in the dorms, but I was paying for college on my own and I remember this feeling of absolute dread, trying to keep track of money, taping quarters into the washers in the dorms trying to save a few bucks, wondering what emergency was going to happen that would break me, make me unable to pay for tuition, get me kicked out of school. Ugh.

Same thing when we bought our first house. I was sure that this was the thing that would ruin us. Now we had a house to worry about, and a car, and blah blah blah.

My poor husband.

What I found out is that what you fear rarely comes to pass, and if it does, you just find a way to deal with it and move on. None of it will kill you. Seriously. So your car breaks down. Get a bus pass and a bicycle till you can afford to fix it. Tuition is more than you thought? Get a part time job at a coffee shop till you're on your feet again. When you're young and on your own for the first time, it's hard to believe that you can manage all of these scary possibilities, but really most people are very resourceful and I think you'll find that you can take care of yourself much better than you might believe at first. Things might be difficult, but lighten up on yourself a little bit and try to put things in perspective. You have a supportive partner you can lean on, you're going to be starting school soon, you live in a beautiful part of the country (my husband's family is from SLC - my brother-in-law and his wife and a few of our good friends live up by the U), you have a house and food, you don't live in any of the many countries that are torn by famine and civil war and poverty. If you happen to encounter a few challenges, you might be a little stressed but each road bump gives you an experience to draw on in the future, and proves that you really can manage.

Aside from changing how you think about the situation, here are some practical things you can do:

Don't forget to breathe. Seriously. Chances are you're so caught up in worry that you're ignoring your body completely. When you feel anxious, just take a few deep, calming breaths and that will help center you, bring you back to physical reality and out of the nightmare scenarios in your head so you can think clearly.

If you can't sleep at night on your own, take something for just a little while (preferably start with something herbal, but something stronger if that doesn't work) to get your sleep cycle regulated again. Meditating and some progressive relaxation exercises before bed also helped me. So did reading "Worry" by Edward Hallowell - has a really good chapter on ways to manage anxiety without drugs.

One of the big ones is exercise - find yourself a walking partner and get out of the house at least a few times a week. Exercise helps regulate your brain chemistry, which should help with both the anxiety and the sleep issues.

Remember that few things are as dire as you think they are. And you're taking a good first step by reaching out for help. You can PM me if you want to talk, anytime.
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Old 08-06-2003, 05:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
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Location: Charleston, SC
When it comes down to it what is going to happen will happen with or without you worrying about it. There are certain things in life you just have no control over. But there are also some things you can control. Those are the areas of your life that you need to concentrate on.
I am in the exact same place you are right now in your life. So I completely understand. Be very thankful that you have a supportive boyfriend and that you are able to get an education. In the long run that will be more importent then anything else. Don't feel sorry for yourself. That will only bring you down farther. Yes you are far from home but it is only a temporary thing. One day you will have all that you desire. Now life is mearly an inconvenience.
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Old 08-06-2003, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Location: Up yonder
You know what...you need to give yourself a big pat on the back for having the courage to take the step and go out on your own. That takes guts and you should say to yourself...yeh...I did it. It's always hurtful to be away from your family, loved ones and what is familiar but they are always there for you. It matters not that you are a distance away....they are always there - remember that.
Sleep...ugh....I have my own troubles there! If I had advice to give you well....heck...I'd take it myself! Lean on your sweetie, accept his support and be glad you have a shoulder to lean against when you need it. That means a lot, trust me. I think once you are a bit more settled, and less homesick that it will pass.
Money troubles....oh honey don't even worry about them until they happen. I spent so much time worrying about things that NEVER happened. The time would have been better spent on other pursuits! And it stresses you out (which at this time you don't need). I'm not saying go through life with a "whatever will happen will happen" attitude but don't fret over what you can't control. Your car may not break down....if it does - well that's the time to worry about it. As for myself, I'm a single mom with no financial help. It's tough, sure...but the most important thing to remember always is be happy....be proud of yourself and what you have accomplished. You have your whole life ahead of you and it's an unpainted canvass....paint it bright and vivid...paint a happy picture! I wish you all the best!
Oh .... and welcome to TFP!
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Old 08-06-2003, 05:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
Liquid Diamonds
 
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Location: Lexington, KY
I agree with all the ladies here. And welcome to the LL.

For some, entering college can be an intimidating milestone, especially if you are away from home.

However, look on the bright side, college will probably be the most amazing and fun time you'll have as a young adult. There are so many good things ahead of you. You will grow and learn to be independent and resourceful in so many ways. Don't be afraid to try new things or talk to new people.

Just have confidence and believe in yourself. Keep in touch with your family, make trips home when you can, and focus on your studies. Remember, confidence brings success!

Good luck, girlfriend!
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Ok, time to try this again since I just lost my first post... grrr.. anyway...

I think the ladies have pretty much covered all the important questions and concerns you have brought up, but I can totally understand missing your dog. I started school last year and it broke my heart to leave my puppies. Luckily, my b/f's apt building is beside a small family owned restaurant where two big dogs roam. We're so pathetic we buy them treats and let them come inside to play (no animals allowed and they stink!!) But the reason I'm posting.... go find an animal shelter close to your school (make sure it's a no kill shelter) and volunteer there whenever you want a little fur attention. I'm sure they will greatly appreciate the help, the dogs will appreciate the extra attention and love, and its a sure bet to brighten your day. You might even be able to take the dogs for a long walk (ours lets us). That way you can hit two birds with one stone.. exercise and pupply love!

Hang in there, things will get better. Good luck in your first year of school.... you never know.. it may just turn out to be easier than you think.
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
Happy as a hippo
 
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Location: Southern California
Thank you guys so much. You really helped me out and gave me some warm fuzzies I think I'll try volunteering and see how that works out. Anyway, thanks again and I'm here for all of you if you need me.
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Old 08-08-2003, 12:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: 'bout 2 feet from my iMac
Storm: hey, i'm a senior, i remember what freshman year was like. it seriously sucks, that whole "hey, I'm on my own, i know NO one" feeling. At least you have your boyfriend... I moved by myself, into the dorms and my roommate the school placed me with neglected to show up, so... I was by myself. Alone, lonely, and uber-depressed. THANKFULLY, my neighbor was involved in the christian group on campus, and was one of those uber-friendly people, and invited me in to watch a movie. I had all that extra space, so I offered up my room. Something similar had happened to juan (except the roommate part), and he ended up in my room, watchin stigmata w/ me and like 8 random christians. We owe Amy and Andrew soooo much for introducing us, accidental as it was.

moral: being alone sucks. get involved in something. I'm athiest, but participating in the christian group for a semester brought me in contact with SOOo many friendly people that i'd do it again if I were in a strange place. Plus, hey, learning new things about other cultures is good, right? Other stuff to try: there's most likely a club associated with your major. for CS it's ACM, for engineers its ASME, SWE, and like a million others (that's Associated Students of Mechanical Engineering and Student Women Engineers, btw ) There's likely something similar for your chosen discipline, and that's a great way to meet people who can, for one, help you with your homework!! Then, there's always sports... not my thing, but I'm sure there's some rec leagues for football, softball, and soccer at the least, where you are. look around. every college campus I've ever been on has been plastered with flyers and notices about all the fun stuff to do. If you don't take advantage of that, you're really missing out. Good luck, and if you need an ear, feel free to message me

So, anyway, what classes are you taking? what's your major? what school are you going to? Maybe one of us goes there/graduated and can point you in the direction of some good stuff to do/stuff to avoid!
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