“Wow, there are so many people here. What the heck am I supposed to be doing? I want to go home…right now.”
These were the thoughts passing through my head as I navigated my first few days of college life. I was overwhelmed. There were so many new people. As a matter of fact, everything was new: The food, the classes and even my bed wasn’t familiar.
I was going into “panic mode” until one of my orientation leaders pulled me aside and gave me some of the best and simplest advice I’ve ever gotten. She simply said, “Breathe. Take a breath. No one knows what they’re doing. It’s as new to everyone else as it is to you.”
So, I took a very long deep breath and began to look around me, and as a matter of fact, she was right. All the people around me were in the exact same position I was: Feeling the exact same anxiety I was.
I took a couple more breaths and plunged into the crowd around me and started talking to people, and the more I focused on the people around me, the calmer I began to feel. This continued all day until, by the end of the day, I couldn’t breathe from laughing so hard at the fun going on all around me.
I guess the moral of the story can be applied to any new situation. There are going to be circumstances that are new, scary and just generally make you want to turn and run, but that doesn’t mean you can’t handle them. So put on smile, dive right on in and breathe.