General chatter - I need some advice.
05-10-2011, 01:57 PM
I really need some guidance right now, so I thought I would consult you lovely ladies (and men!). There are some wise and wonderful people here so Iím going to give this a try and explain my situation.
I suffer from panic attacks and an anxiety disorder which has decreased somewhat with my weight loss. Because of my nerves, I received my Associateís degree from an online school. I enjoyed the experience, but deep down I would like to attend at least a couple of my college years at a brick and mortar school.
My other issue besides my sometimes anxiety is Iíve never been away from home. I get really nervous in big cities and such because Iím so used to living in a VERY small town.
Iíve narrowed my choices down to three options:
A) A nice University that is close to home, with a small campus. I know the community very well and would even feel comfortable applying for low income housing there. They have a few programs that I am interested in. I have a few friends that attend this school.
B) A college with a larger campus than A, but it is further away from home. It is also an isolated school so I would have to live on campus. I could commute home for the weekends. They have 1 program that I am interested in. It is a Christian based school (which I love), and it would be very cheap to attend there. A few of my friends attend this school as well.
C) A very large school with a large campus. It is located in a very big city, which has some notably high crime rates. Many people praise this school for having a great educational system. They have several degrees I am interested in and 1 that I would love to do but couldnít find anywhere else. I would have to live on campus. Itís far away from home, but I could commute home on the weekends if I wanted. I donít know anyone there, which makes me anxious. There was actually a murder at this school not too long ago Ė a young girl by herself, just walking to a class. All of that worries me, even though I may be overreacting.
I really need to make a decision, but I feel so torn. Any advice?
05-10-2011, 02:15 PM
Well, after reading what you wrote my first thought for you was "B". It'd give you a chance to experience being away from home without being too far and it seems that you love something about it.
For me the things about "C" wouldn't be an issue, but if you aren't going to feel safe at some place, then that's probably not a good place to be especially with panic attacks and anxiety issues.
You also might want to make sure you can transfer credits between those universities. Maybe you start at "B", but then are doing well enough that you want to go to "C".
Regardless of what you decide I wish you the best =D
05-10-2011, 02:20 PM
I agree with Lovely, B seems like a nice mix of the two... without the pesky murder. :D
B is a bigger step than A, but not a leap!
05-10-2011, 02:29 PM
I agree with the other ladies. B sounds like it has great potential! ;) I too suffered from serious anxiety attacks at my highest weight. I ended up in the hospital 4 times thinking I was having a heart attack. They've gone away now. However, I've had a couple "panic" attacks when I've been exposed to really high stress situations. They aren't as bad as the others though. A lot of it has to do with my heart murmur. Not a good combo. Good luck!
05-10-2011, 02:59 PM
BBBBB I agree, I work at a very large university directly with students, 36,000 students my faculty alone has 6000, I also worked at a small state college with 6000 students total.
After my experience with many different people and students from every background sounds to me like B would be your best option if your comfortable with it. "when you are comfortable with your choice you will do better in your studies when you don't have extra anxiety.
05-10-2011, 03:23 PM
What university is C? Honestly, I'd choose C if it was me. I think college is about learning and experiences.
It sounds like C would have both of those. I'm also for diversity and an isolated, Christian school doesn't sound diverse. Other schools will have various student organizations and you can certainly be involved in a Christian community without going o a Christian school.
05-10-2011, 03:51 PM
I'm sure your choice will be good.
Does your doctor say that the panic attacks will be influenced by moving to a big city? I have rare panic attacks and for me they tend to come when I have deadlines--which will be at any college. I also have an anxiety disorder, and I just have to deal with regardless of where I am.
I agree with Nellie--college is about learning and getting new experiences. I hope you visited the schools to get a feel for them yourself. Don't cut yourself short, panic attacks and anxiety come from within--and while you can minimize stress in your life, you shouldn't hold back too much from new experiences. Some campuses offer health insurance that can help you get treatment for anxiety--a friend of mine went to UCLA and got treatment for anxiety--she is so much happier now. I think it is the fast pace of college that is the most difficult for anxiety--and you can only minimize this with good organization and time management, and also doing relaxing things (and maybe cognitive therapy and medication).
Good luck with college--I love it!
05-10-2011, 04:32 PM
Thanks for all of the responses, everyone.
I am in the process of touring every school. I toured school A last week, I am touring school B tomorrow, and I will be touring school C sometime next week.
This is a really difficult decision for me, to be honest. I feel torn between every school for very different reasons, so choosing one is really hard. I like the idea of living in my own apartment, away from home, but not far away. I also like the idea of a faith based community. And I also like the idea of a dietetics program, which University C offers.
It seems like University B is winning, with C not far behind. I'm actually leaning towards A. lol We'll see after I tour Campus B tomorrow... I may have a change of heart then.
05-10-2011, 06:47 PM
I hope you will be happy with whatever decision you make. What is your major? I noticed that you mentioned a dietetics program.
As for C, you may like it when you tour next week. However, if you aren't comfortable, then go to B.
05-10-2011, 09:52 PM
I'd say hold off as much as possible with biases until you've seen all the schools.
It is true that going outside your comfort zone/relocating can help you grow as a person, but there are many, many alternative ways to reach the same conclusions. Some people never leave their hometowns and are perfectly happy and there's nothing "wrong" about that at all. Nothing. Make sure you consider your real priorities and please don't let external pressure make up your mind for you.
I went to college about 90 minutes from home (both in suburban medium sized areas). I lived on campus and felt quite "away" without needing to fly far for holidays and school breaks. There was a commuter train line to NYC if I felt like I needed a more urban setting, and if I got really miserable (which never happened, not even once) I could go home if I wanted to.
05-10-2011, 10:27 PM
I went to a school about 2 hours from home and knew a few people. The school was in a big city but with no convenient transportation and nothing within walking distance. And I didn't have a car. I was miserable. Although I didnt have an anxiety disorder, I was pretty shy and had come from a small all-girls high school. I begged my parents to let me move home. They didn't, of course, and even bought me a cheap used car over winter break that year. That helped a lot and I stayed for 4 years & graduated.
I guess my point is, go out of your comfort zone, but not so far that you are paralyzed. Make sure you have the option to get home easily because it totally makes the difference. In your shoes, I would choose B, unless A has a better program - and in that case you definitely shoul apply for housing.
Good luck and let us know how things go!
05-11-2011, 09:51 AM
Here is my 2 cents. My dear daughter went to college this year. We live in a very small town and her high school 7-12 grade had a total of 250 max in it. I wanted her to live at home and go to the big university that I work at. She decided to go to college in a small town (not as small as ours) which is about 2 hours away. It was the right decision for her. It gave her an opportunity to 'live on her own'. At first she kept coming home but as time passed the visits home became less frequent.
If it was my daughter I would recommend option B. I think it is important to live in a dorm with other people because it is too easy to isolate yourself in your own apartment. Live on campus and force yourself to get involved in the school. Give it time, do not give up after the first semester if you get homesick, try to stay at least one year and the revaluate how you feel.
If you want a masters or PHD program, then maybe push yourself into a larger city and school.
Best of luck to you.
05-11-2011, 04:05 PM
Well, I visited school B. It was a lovely campus with some cool kids... but something felt off. I can't really explain it but I didn't leave feeling like I loved the school, and that's what I was looking for.
School C is out of the picture because the big city just isn't for me (yet). I think I would be miserable going there right now.
School A seems to be the one I am leaning towards.
Now I just need to decide on a major. lol. I wanted to double major in English and Art but my family doesn't like the idea. They don't see much opportunity for an English/Art major. I just picked them because that's what I am interested in, you know? I am also interested in nutrition... any ideas on a major for me?
I appreciate everyone's help. This has been a rough period of transition but everything is moving forward... slowly but surely.
05-11-2011, 04:25 PM
I would say A- because you said B is kind of a closed off, live on campus atmosphere.
At least with A you have a community outside of school. You'll be comfortable there, but it will still be outside of your element. You'll be able to interact with more, different people if you aren't "confined" to a campus.
Anyways, good luck with your decision!!
05-11-2011, 05:12 PM
Well here is the big question, what do you want to do with your life? That could help you determine your major.
05-12-2011, 12:42 AM
I wish I knew. I know I'm good at writing, but beyond that I'm pretty lost. I thought about being an English major, but I'm not interested in teaching. I also thought about minoring in Art or Religion, just because those things interest me.
05-12-2011, 05:31 AM
Dr Harold Levinson wrote a book called "Phobia Free". It should be in your local library, or you can buy it online.
In the book he gives instructions on how to get rid of panic attacks and phobias.
He utilizes over-the-counter liquid antihistamines and other safe meds.
He has written several other books also.
His office is located in Great Neck, NY. If you are close by, just give them a call.
I know a few people who have been helped by him, and it has changed their lives.
05-12-2011, 09:01 AM
If you are good at writing, what about journalism? I would say don't worry too much about your major but I think English and Biology are the most common majors, probably followed by Psychology.
It is somewhat easier to go to college if you know what you want to do afterwards. Some jobs will require specific degrees while others, not so much. You can figure it out as you go and the first couple years in school are pretty much the same classes for everybody, it is the last 2 years where you will be doing things more for your major.
I'd say this as well, I think you can go on and find a successful career if you major in English/art. Who knows where those interests may lead you. On the other hand, there are a lot of English majors working at Starbucks for various reasons. So I'd encourage you to research and figure out what jobs interest you.
05-12-2011, 10:13 AM
Do what interests YOU! Do not let your family decide things for you. You have to choose something that you enjoy and can thrive studying. There is a misconception that your major decides the rest of your life. If you get an English degree, there are other options open than just teaching. For example, I took an honors writing class my last semester of college and the Professor had some of his former students come talk to us. Most of these former English majors were actually successful in business, both in behind the scenes roles and public roles. The fact that they chose English as a major allowed them to gain advanced writing skills and made them stand out above even business majors. This may not be for you either, but it is just an example. Once you have a degree, your options open up tremendously, and as long as you get a well rounded education, you are not limited to your major.
Just a note on disapproving (or skeptical) family members. My undergraduate major is in Liberal Studies in the Great Books. Basically, it is a classical liberal arts education. The easiest explanation is that it is philosophy, english, history, and theology all mixed together, with a dash of art history thrown in. It was set up seminar style and grounded in the reading of original texts (not textbooks) from the Greek to the Late Modern Periods. My father thought this was ridiculous. He thought just because he had never heard of my major, that is was crap. He didn't understand how it could be applied, etc. Honestly, I received an amazing education and I enjoyed every moment of it. My major taught me how to read and analyze, and even more importantly, how to think. I chose to go to law school and I don't think I could have chosen a better major.
All in all, if you leave undergrad with writing, communication, and analytical skills, then you will be able to thrive doing anything. Don't let your family steer you away from studying what you know you will enjoy. Good Luck!