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By Victoria Kuhr

The next few years are supposed to be the most fun, eventful, and nerve-wracking times of our lives. Movies paint a portrait of the atypical college experience: Dorming on a beautiful campus, making friends who will last a lifetime, possibly finding the love of your life, discovering an unexpected passion, and much more.

But what happens when devastating homesickness kicks in, when a new college attendee has no feel for his or her new surroundings, and cannot adequately adjust?

It is the feeling of tripping while crossing the road in the dark, lying face first in the pavement before slowly lifting up your head to stare into the headlights of a vehicle going too fast to have been predicted. And suddenly, you are hit.

That is the scary thing about coping whilst feeling way in over your own head. It (sulking), while yes, personally reflective, is most times unhealthy for ones’ own mental frame.

Holding in emotions, letting them store within you until you feel the need to explode, is the worst option possible. Why ignore the urge to allow yourself to let out a cry with a trusted friend, in favor of far more harmful consequences? Granted, bawling your eyes out in front of someone may not be your “thing.” Ultimately, you should stride to choose an outlet where your mind is capable of releasing all your inhibition into a productive stress-combater. For instance:

Writing. At times, it is recommended to “journal.” But even this can be too awkward for some. Another option is writing down everything on a piece of paper and then ripping it up into pieces. Simple enough, right? The act of watching all your worries torn to pieces by your control could lift the unnecessary weight directly off of your shoulders.

The arts. Singing, drawing, painting, playing an instrument, and listening to music are all ways to have your voice and thoughts heard without actually uttering a peep. This vice speakers louder than some words ever could. The best masterpieces usually originate from places many are too fearful to confront.

Exercise. Working out may seem obscured in theory. But some people just need to sweat it out in order to free themselves of rage or emotional trauma. At the end of the day, attacking a punching bag is safer and less destructive than taking it out on an innocent person.

Talking. Whether it be with a person or an inanimate object, verbally acknowledging troubles is an effective way to conquer them, and enables you to breathe a much needed sigh of release. It gives you a chance to adequately communicate your issues in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Even talking to your self can sometimes produce the most desirable results.

Meditation and yoga. Meditation and yoga are supposed to “realign the body with the mind.” To improve the center of peace within ones’ self is to block out the remainder of the world, even if just for a short period of time.

The point is there are various ways to cope without causing harm to yourself or others. The tools listed above only begin to scratch the surface. Perhaps one of these coping skills can become a new hobby, passion, or attribute. Friends and licensed professional are all here on campus to support you during times of turmoil. The goal is to utilize them willingly—to be able to admit when you need help or if you need to be coerced into starting the process. Sometimes, tough love is all you need.