Tips to Tackling Apartment Anxiety and Achieving Adulthood

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Congratulations! You've moved out of those pesky dorms and on to bigger and better digs. You've traded RA's for limited supervision and can finally call yourself independent. You're a "true adult” now. Do you feel the pressure and anxiety in the midst of packing boxes and setting up your huge shipment of IKEA furniture? Bills. A decent paying job. School. Is it sinking in now? It’s a nice feeling moving on and closer to adulthood. However, if you’re like me, your mind tends to roam to the dark caverns of stress and anxiety and you may get lost. Making the next step in your life is huge. 

The Good News is that you can deal with the anxiety. Consider these 10 options and realize that results may vary.

1. Scream and Shout (and I’m not talking about that Britney Spears song).

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Sometimes your body needs a release. For some, exercising, walking or going to the beach can help. I yelled. As I yelled, I felt all of the anxiety leave my body and felt my throat dry up. If you try this, I would suggest having a glass of water nearby. And to make sure no one you know is standing near you unless you enjoy the stares.

2. Speaking of Britney Spears…

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Try decompressing by listening to music. Sometimes music can put to words what you fail to communicate outwardly. In my opinion, music is the panacea to the human condition.

3. Write down your anxieties and problems.

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This is something I’ve done every year since I left for college and it’s proven to work wonders. The act of writing down the anxiety helped me realize that it’s something physical I can take care of. I no longer had to worry about it because it didn’t seem as huge of a problem as I thought it was.

4.Meditate.

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Find a spot far, far away from your box-ridden apartment and take the time to close your eyes and focus on everything positive. (This goes hand in hand with the next tip.)

5. Take deep breaths.

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This is perhaps the easiest of them all. Taking a deep breath and thinking that this is a positive move in your life may be the very thing to keep you going. It’s a small step in the right direction and your mind will thank you for it.

6. Sleep!

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Naps are a fantastic way to quell the strong, persistent throb of moving anxiety. Also, be sure to get the recommended eight hours each night to keep your mind and body healthy.

7.Take the time to recognize that this isn’t the end of the world.

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Remember that this move is a necessary next step towards full-fledged adulthood. It’s a necessary, and even positive, experience and is not the end of the world.

8.Apartment Decorating Therapy.

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Stop thinking about all the unopened boxes, rent and utilities and start focusing on how you want the apartment to look. Think about how you want to express yourself in your apartment. You never know, maybe putting your own twist on an empty canvas can calm your nerves.

9. Reflect on all the accomplishments you’ve made so far.

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Think about the time you surprised yourself by acing that midterm, got published in the school newspaper or won “Best Resident” in your residence hall. Reminiscing on your accomplishments can give you the confidence boost necessary to carry on.

10.  Talk it out.

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If you find yourself alone and dwelling on your deep, dark thoughts, talk to a friend or family member. They may not know exactly what you’re going through, but what they do know is that you matter to them. Your friends and family will always be there for you, especially when you find the cave getting darker and darker. Don’t be afraid to see a healthcare professional if you feel like you have no one to listen at any point during your move. They are there to help you cope with these types of life-changing experiences.

Don’t forget that there’s still better news: You're not the only one going through this. There are thousands of students in the same position. Don’t put yourself on the outskirts because you tell yourself you’re alone. Take a second to breathe and ponder the fact that you are supported even if you don’t see it right now. Now let's hug it out.

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Jason Credo is a fourth-year English major at San Diego State University. He hopes to one day be able to write an Emmy award-winning TV show that gets ten seasons and then becomes syndicated.

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