Combating The New Campus Blues

By Thomas Vogt on September 28, 2013

Combating The New Campus Blues

It’s never easy getting used to a new bed, especially if this bed just happens to be an oddly long twin, made of an unforgiving stuffing and cold crinkly plastic. It sits comfortable (while you don’t!) in a small room, your dorm, also your new home for the next year. Sure, you’ve covered it with your favorite sheets and your best comforter, but for some reason you can still feel the pea, that is, the fact that you’ve started a new life in a place totally foreign to you.

Welcome to college.

For some, this is going to be the time of your life. The new sight and sounds and people make it feel just enough like high school to feel comfortable, but the edge of the new-found freedom pushes it into a slurry of pure to-be-discovered bliss. Some will thrive here and grow old telling the stories of the next four (or five) years. Some will jump from comfort zones and find themselves instead surrounded by comfort territories, as the world opens its palm and offers unadulterated experience and learning.

And some…some may see fear and anxiety. The colors are all wrong, and those new shoes and clothes and sheets you bought seem to itch or they just don’t fit quite right. That comfortable skin you’ve been living in has been sloughed off and your freshly exposed interior doesn’t want to augment itself with this “newness.”

The great thing about those ill fitting clothes and shoes, however, is that you’ve set a precedent for yourself to grow. You may not feel that you fit right now, but your lack of comfort has now given you a reason to expand, if only to feel comfortable again. And as you start to feel comfortable again, you’ll realize that growing wasn’t so bad. Maybe those new clothes and sheets are starting to feel a little tight, so you trade them out again, sloughing off old skins and habits to pick up exactly what you want to make for yourself.

That is the beauty of college.

That and the fact that your campus could look like this.

You’re in a place now where everyone wants to grow, creating an environment where you now have the tools to do so. Sure, it’s easy enough for me to say “Hey! Grow!” without giving the how. Quite frankly, I don’t have the power or the want to command your life, but instead I’ll leave you with a few tips to help you actualize who you want to be.

  1. Go out and do it.
    Terrifying right? Hell yes it is! That pretty girl/guy you’ve been wanting to take to coffee could say no. You could completely and totally fail that biology test. Etc.. etc.. You may feel weird, dejected, and jaded by putting yourself out there, but at the very least you will have experienced these things. You can and will learn from your mistakes and failures, and those failures will help you learn what to do next time. You’re building a future one broken heart or grade at a time.

  2. Listen.
    And I don’t just mean your peers and professors. Listening to your experiences and most importantly, your desires and interests, will help you solidify what and why you learn from what you do. Being able to analyze your own actions as well as the actions of others will help you be able to make better decisions in the long run.

  3. There’s a club for that.
    Well, for most things at least (I’m still waiting on a bread-baking club). The point is: now is the time to expand your hobbies. It may be something you’ve always loved or something you’ve never even dreamed of doing before. Either way, finding those hobbies puts you in a place where you will be surrounded by others with similar interests, or friends-in-the-making. And if anyone wants to start a bread-baking club, let me know!

  4. Lastly, enjoy the little things.
    Including the fine print. As cliche as it is, the little things can make (or break) your sanity. Take a day off, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, bake a loaf of bread! These actions will refresh your outlook and your tired mind. Don’t forget to read the fine print as well. Be cautious of what your body and mind are telling you and learn to recognize situations that put you into mental or physical harm. Learn from those small experiences, and let others learn from you.

    My example of enjoying the little things. A cat, a hammock, and a beautiful day.

Now, get out of that new bed of yours because we all know you weren’t going to sleep anyways.
You’ve got a new campus to conquer and it’s time to grow into, and out of, that new set of skin.

By Thomas Vogt

Uloop Writer
4th year City and Regional Planning Major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Avid bread baker and bicycle enthusiast.

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