.Coming to college as a young adult is quite challenging. In my experience, I was constantly thinking about what it’s like to be completely independent and on your own? I also didn’t think it’d be a challenge, like how hard could college really be? Little did I know, college isn’t easy by any means, in terms of classes and staying active in all your student organizations, but the hardest part is allowing yourself to be exposed and talk to people.
.. As we get older, we tend to think to ourselves that adulting is about being completely on our own. It’s a valid point because not just anyone is going to pay your bills, but part of maturing is knowing how and allowing yourself to be in a community. At Eastern Michigan University, I have never failed to feel cared for in all aspects of interactions with people I see on a day to day basis. My employers care about my schooling. My professors care about my mental health. My mentors care about me thriving. My friends care about my goals. There is someone always cheering me on and you never have to feel alone.
. .I expected to come to college and be fine because I’ve already lived the life of being independent. What I found out was it’s not just about being alone, it’s about taking responsibility for yourself in ways that not many talk about. I found it less challenging to manage my time, but more challenging to acknowledge when I wasn’t feeling like myself. When I wasn’t feeling myself, I had to take it upon myself to talk to someone and get brought back down to earth. Part of being independent is also being self-aware because no one else can do it for you. At Eastern, there are so many great resources to keeping your mental health in check. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is very helpful to many for counseling and guidance in adjustment to life in college and maintaining mental health. Having Residential Advisors (RAs) that check to see how you are doing is very helpful as well.
. .When entering a new atmosphere, it’s important to check in with yourself mentally and make sure all is well. If you are having a hard time doing that, it’s okay and totally normal! I recommend putting yourself out there, and being vulnerable. It’s alright to let others know that you are struggling with something. At Eastern, you never have to feel like you are doing anything alone.
About the writer:
Shayla Parham is a first-year student at Eastern majoring in Public Relations. She works as a desk assistant at the Leadership and Counseling Office as well as being a team member of the Go Social Media Team. Shayla is a member of Optimize Eastern and University Christian Fellowship. Shayla enjoys music of all genres and quality time with her friends.