Beyond “What scares UIS students?” | Students share: Fears About Change.
Major life changes impact individuals differently, no matter age or background. Attending college sounds simple: it’s just a higher level of education than one previously held. The truth is much more complex due to how new stresses are introduced, often long before a student can fully adjust to their new surroundings and new social dynamics. For those who moved away from home for the first time, or left their country for a better opportunity, the stress is intensified. While daily stressors often are easily handled, the psychological impact following a major life event such as moving can result in negative emotions such as self-doubt.
College is hectic regardless of one’s emotional maturity, due to how various new stressors are introduced simultaneously. Navigating financials to ensure that classes, tuition, and materials are paid for is one known source of anxiety. Another is how academic challenges along with learning new subjects and pressure to perform well in one’s chosen major enhance stress on students. Often, students feel unsure that they’ve chosen the ‘right’ career path or feel obligated to follow one specific career path due to parental influences.
Socially, there are new challenges to attending college as well, due to how there’s a loss of the known and familiar support network and a new social network must be created. Being homesick for familiar restaurants and activities is normal, as the unknown can cause anxiety. Add in the stress of taking on a job or maintaining a relationship, and suddenly, any small inconvenience feels like a catastrophe you’re unable to manage on your own. Thankfully, UIS has a counseling center on campus which students can make use of for free and schedule a time to meet which will fit their individual needs. An after-hours crisis counselor is also on hand. Counseling Center | University of Illinois Springfield (uis.edu)
“What were you afraid of about moving to or attending UIS?”
“Losing my support system from my hometown and not being sure where things were at in Springfield.”
Danielle W – Legal Studies
“If I was gonna get a Bachelor’s Degree by the end of Fall 2023.”
Tianna R – Psychology
“I was afraid that I wouldn’t make any new friends at UIS, but I was so wrong.”
“I was afraid of the culture difference between here and Spain and how people were going to treat me.”
Pablo H – Computer Science
“If I would fit in a new environment. Coming from a big city, that was my biggest fear.”
Liz F – Psychology
“My only fears in starting UIS were mostly financial but also silly ones like finding the wrong room on my first day or mixing up my first day of class altogether.”
Tori K – History
“I was afraid of missing home because I’m from Texas and wouldn’t be able to visit home a lot.”
Joshua L – Computer Science