The reasons behind anxiety
There can be several reasons that may cause anxiety in international students.The could be exams or homework. It could be due to internships or work-study jobs. Or anxiety may be related to your social life, family issues, finances. The bottomline is that stress will always be part of the college student experience. Also, post COVID-19, the effects on your mental health can be extra hard.
As a college student, you may be experiencing difficulties with isolation or loneliness. You may even have issues in making new friends. Or maybe going on dates. Plus exam study can also make students anxious.
Online and Offline Challenges
Homesickness is very common amongst international students. You could be homesick and be under a culture shock.
Online learners may be experiencing similar struggles. To make matters worse, they also feel FOMO (fear of missing out). Or it may mean an added layer of isolation or screen fatigue. Some face difficulties studying at home with family around.
While these feelings are not ideal, they are real. Also they are normal. You may be finding your university experience is not what you wanted it to be. You may have been anticipating going to games at the big stadium. Or making new friends in class or at parties But you may not be able to manage that.
You may be annoyed, upset, or angry in such cases. It’s true for first-year students and seniors.
Dr. Jennifer Gottlieb, a clinical psychologist, teaching associate at Harvard Medical School, and alumnus of American University offers some insights. She says, “The feelings are real, but they are not facts. When you feel this way, pause and reflect. Take stock of some of the things you are telling yourself about the current situation.
She adds, “Often, during times of stress, our thoughts become unbalanced. We might allow ourselves to jump to conclusions . Or assume that the worst-case scenario is going to happen. Then we end up believing those thoughts, and we become even more distressed.”
Things to do
When you notice yourself having such thoughts, try to come up with something more balanced. Dr Gottlieb says, “Remind yourself: ‘OK, this is a really difficult time for me. While things feel awful right now, that doesn’t mean it will be that way forever.”
There are small things you can do right in your daily life to reduce stress. Try to balance between studies and recreation. Take time out for yourself. Have a little enjoyment during this time. These will surely make you feel better!
Importance of Self-care
Self-care isn’t just a buzzword. It is an ongoing necessity for all of us. Taking care of our physical and emotional needs helps us to better manage our day-to-day lives. As a student, you must focus on self-care. This will help you to manage your social and professional relationships well.