This week, Stella asked the students of UAlbany what their back to school struggles are via Instagram. Here’s a look at some of the daily issues our students have been facing.
“I have an incredibly difficult time meeting anybody new, the classes are big, people are either with friends or on their phones, and so introducing myself randomly feels quite awkward and weird. I also can't say that the clubs are of much interest to me.”
Back to school can be difficult for many reasons. Leaving friends and family at home, re-rooting yourself in college, and UAlbany’s environment this year has already been quite chaotic from the ten mile-long lines in the CC to the raging parties downtown.
As a grown adult, you have to put yourself out there sometimes to meet new people and make connections. What could be the worst thing about putting yourself out there in a big class? People are probably on their phones because they feel the same way you do. It may feel awkward and weird, but I promise most people will appreciate it if you are trying to get to know them.
If you never try to put yourself out there, it’ll be hard to find friends. Things seem to fall into place when you’re happy. You will find like-minded people in places you like to go. If you like coffee, go to coffee shops. If you like football games, go to football games. And say you put yourself out there and you don’t get along with the people you approach, just never talk to them again.
“I am struggling to get motivated to do work. I’m stuck in summer mode and don’t know how to get out of it.”
Getting back to the swing of things can be hard after months of not having to do work on your own. Just remind yourself of your goals and why you’re in school to begin with. Everyone has different accomplishments they want to achieve, so get a planner and write everything out to keep track of your daily responsibilities. Don’t forget to take mental health breaks when needed.
Maybe try rewarding yourself as you finish work throughout the week. Give yourself an incentive to get work done efficiently. Having something to look forward to after a long day of work keeps me on track. After finishing that 80-page reading and seven-page essay, go grab yourself a cake pop and relax.
As Nicki Minaj said, “Barbz, stay in school. Don’t ever be lazy, don’t you ever complain about hard work. Work hard, it pays off.” You don’t want to disappoint Nicki.
“My suitemates never come out of their room and I would really like to make friends with them, but I have social anxiety. What should I do?”
Having social anxiety can definitely make it challenging to make friends, but the fact you want to put yourself out there is a step in the right direction. You can find lots of tips online for overcoming your social anxiety, like how to prepare yourself for these situations. Try inviting your suitemates to a game night or a movie night in your room or common area. You can get some snacks, play some music, and get to know each other.
When was the last time you played Mario Kart and had a bad time? Hopefully the answer to that question is never, but if Mario Kart is not your cup of tea, grab a deck of cards and play the elementary school special, ‘Go Fish.’
If you hangout with them and realize you don’t necessarily click with them, you can still say you made a conscious effort to get to know the people you share a living space with. That’s a win in my book.
“Farting up the library.”
Cutting the cheese in the library sounds like one of the most frightening experiences known to man. Hopefully, for your sake these are silent and you're not disturbing the peace around the library. If they aren’t, I would say sit in the group study sections of the library, because noise is welcomed in these areas.
If you chose to let your gas loose in the silent part of the library, you can expect some death glares. The library is no place for a farty party. Take some Gas-X and give the library a fair warning.
No one wants to be gassed up while simultaneously having a breakdown over the exam they’ve spent all day studying for. Stay away from gassy food, like the magical fruit that will make you toot and I’m sure you’ll be in the clear. I wish you luck on your pressing issue, and if you cannot get it under control, let one rip in Stella’s honor.