Whether it is moving schools, graduating and starting afresh, a new transition is always scary and may seem daunting for everybody.
For instance, the transition to university from high school was a very impactful transition, and severely impacted my mental health. There were so many changes: adjusting to a new environment, the stress of finding your people,trying to find a sense of belonging, and having no clue what is going on.
Throughout this process of transitioning to university (and even in the present moment), I was dealing with family circumstances that made this change even tougher, as school was not my sole worry in my mind.
During the first few months, I fell behind. I remember crying every single day in my room, feeling so unhappy and questioning myself about why I was here. I cut out my friends for a short period, and just wanted to be alone and blocked everyone out - which was a mistake.
It was until a period when my residence advisor noticed, and offered an ear to listen. I realized that I don’t have to suffer in silence. From hearing advice from my older friends, there was so much more that I wasn’t perceiving due to my stress. I realized that I had not been properly taking care of myself while also trying to also take care of others amidst everything going on.
The road was tough. Every night I would think “It’s going to get better tomorrow”, and then a small inconvenience would lead to a breakdown. Even the things that used to make me feel happy ceased to do so. Learning once more that life isn’t perfect and that it is not easy, I picked myself up, and found my network of people that I could trust and really talk to about these things, which is so important. I also went to get professional help (the counsellor’s) which was pretty helpful. Unfortunately, it fell below my expectations but the techniques they offered were something that I could use. I forced myself to be out of my room more, tried out a bunch of places, found my go-to study places, and finally could properly have fun in my ways of escape: going to the music room and going to the gym in order to manage my stress.
Embarking on a new road, and a new change is always tough. But, make sure to be gentle to yourself, and know that there are others that care about you, and we have the capability to push through.
By Chloe Kim