Mental Health Survival Expert’s Tip of the Month- Aug

By Colleen Coffey

As a little girl in New Orleans, LA I attended a small parochial school called Louise S. McGhee’s. My Dad always told me at the start of each year “campus is happy to have you back.” The month of August meant surviving the New Orleans heat, celebrating my Mom’s birthday, and going back to school.

In the beginning of August, I would meticulously plan my back to school hair barrette, first day of school lunch,  and the color of my uniform knee socks. I would polish my saddle oxfords, and worry about my new teacher and with whom I would play for the first few days of recess.  About 15 Augusts later I had lost the saddle oxfords and knee socks but the anxiety about going back to school was just the same. You may stress about some of the same things I did:

What will my classes be like?….how will I get along with my new roommate?… will the team place at state this year?…where will I hang out this year and with whom?…what am I going to do about the tuition due in September?…how many credits do I need again? …maybe I will declare a minor this year…I  should do better at being on time for class this year…This year, I WILL talk to that hot guy in my advising group…do I really want to go back?….am I cut out for this?… do I ever want to leave?….

I could write all day about all of the anxiety associated with August and campus “re-opening” so to speak. In the midst of all that worry, there is a thrill and excitement that goes along with August. August means- new students, new friends, new experiences, rekindling old relationships, and being one step closer to graduation. It is about embracing the always changing familiarity of school. This August remember, you are (in school years) one year older and wiser and one year more fantastic. Stay calm as you embark on whatever lies ahead for you this August and remember “campus is happy to have you back.”

~ Colleen Coffey with Ross Szabo, Mental Health Survival Expert, Campus Calm

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