Something that’s consistently on my mind lately is support systems, specifically in college. If you’re like me, and went to college just far enough from your family that you notice their absence, then you know that sometimes it’s hard not having the constant support of family and lifetime friends around you constantly. I am one of those people who tries to talk to their mom or dad everyday, and when I’m really upset, I immediately call my mom in desperate need of reassurance. Most people assume that college friends kind of assume the role of your family, and that they will inevitably be your support system. Sometimes it’s hard, though, because if you’re going through something really heavy, or are super proud of something but you just feel a little unsupported, finding you “support group” on campus can be difficult.
At home, my friend Rossy is always happy for me, always accepting of me, and always willing to lend an ear when I’m upset. In college, I have a similar support system with my friends, but sometimes I feel like I’m dwelling on things too much, and I can feel them becoming bored, and I hate to feel like a burden. But again, I’m not saying I don’t have a support system in college, I’m simply saying that sometimes is can be hard to adjust to having a support system that is predominantly people who have known you forever, to people who have only known you for a year. It can be a change, and it can be difficult, but I wanted to offer some words of advice about finding your niche, and ways to feel supported while away from your main support system.
First, I’m a huge advocate of journaling. I find this a little more therapeutic than talking to people, because it gives me the opportunity to vent about life, and just get all my thoughts out without having anyone give me advice. This also removes the possibility of people being negative about something you’re happy about, or saying something that comes off as rude, even if it was not intended to be rude. Journals are the most forgiving confidant, so if you’re “having a lot of feeling,” don’t make a cake of rainbows and smiles, but pick up a journal (Barnes and Noble has some really beautiful leather journals).
Second, call someone you love. With all the technology available today, it’s much easier to bring your support system to you, even if they’re not physically with you. There’s also Skype, FaceTime, and other forms of communication where you can see the person if you prefer that to just their voice. I really enjoy talking to my family when I need to talk to someone, but don’t feel like to talking to someone at school.
Third, I would suggest being your own best cheerleader. I know that sounds ridiculously cheesy, but honestly, sometimes we have to keep our heads up, even if the rest of the world is trying to dim our shine. If you don’t believe in yourself, and know your values or goals, then no one else is going to know either, and therefore be unable to offer you much comfort or advice. Being proud of who you are is important, so remember that if you accomplish something awesome, to remind yourself that you’re capable of whatever you set your mind to! I feel like this post relates a lot to my thoughts about Drama, and ways to avoid it. Part of finding a support system is finding people who love you, support you, and compliment you when it’s appropriate. Make sure you surround yourself with positivity because positivity breeds more positivity, and you want people who encourage you to be yourself and be successful. Try to avoid people who are constantly negative because that will make your support system negative, and well, a negative support system isn’t a support system at all, is it?
How do you make sure you feel supported in college?