Hey guys..

As far as I can see the college I'm about to attend in around 21 days has an Secular Student Alliance and a GBLT group. I signed up online and I really don't know what to expect. I didn't tell my parents yet because even though I came out to them about being an atheist and my orientation, I still feel very uncomfortable talking about it. I know my mom and dad wouldn't really like me being apart of the SSA but I don't know what they'd think about me joining the GBLT group. I've never been in a group before and I  am not sure how the work load of college will be on me. School hasn't started yet, and I can pull myself out of these groups while there is time. By the way, the GBLT group has about 110 member but there's only 20 for the SSA.

Starting the semester with 5 classes is what I decided to do so am I going too fast? Should I pull out and wait? I don't think I have the confidence to go to those groups because I feel so worried about letting my parents down. Also around large groups, my nerves start acting up. Finally, I wanted to add that I don't feel like I'd be successful in a group because I'm too freaking' awkward and weird.

Don't know what to do.. Help...!   :'(

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I presume you are attending college for the first time.  I remember the start of my life out in the real world on my own.  The unknowns are many and the uncertainty is large, but the opportunities are equal to all the unknowns and uncertainties.  I'd keep my class load a little on the light side at first while you get used to things - the competition is much higher so classes will be more challenging.  Your early college days are likely to find some of your best friends and they will help make your experience that much more rewarding.

It sounds to me that you are feeling overwhelmed by the unknowns ahead of you, but I think if you take an occasional deep breath that you'll find the experiences awaiting you to be some of the most rewarding.  Best of luck.

Oh college........I'm happy for you Ari :-) these are going to be the best years of your life! The years when you make friends that you'll likely know the rest of your life, the years that you break away from your parent's control, and really do begin to find yourself...

As far as the courseload, well....it depends what courses they are, and how much dedication you have. My first quarter in college I took 15 credits.....now I'm going back to school after a 10 year absence and I'm taking 23 credits next quarter! It's very possible to do if you are motivated.... But I learned how to study and how to manage my time. If these are things you already know well then you'll be just fine.

Taking a heavy courseload is possible, but remember to not let yourself fall behind. Learn to ask for help immediately if you don't understand something. Especially in math or science classes because the knowledge is cumulative. There are usually tons of places on campus to go for help, such as the math and writing centers, counseling services, advisors, professor's office hours.....take advantage of ALL of it! READ all the signs you see posted (everywhere) and get familiar with who to call for what. You can do it!!! I'm excited for you.

...too freaking' awkward and weird?

Ari, consider science, mathematics or art.

Or something more ordinary than those and then medical or law school.

Or better, sample as many subjects as you can and stay with the one you like most.

Lots of people change careers in their early 40s and any kids they had are leaving.

Ari, here's a tactic I have when I'm uncertain whether to proceed in a certain direction.  I treat it as an experiment.  It seems like I'll never know until I try.  Therefore I try, and so find out more information and use the experience as knowledge for next time. 

I took about 12 hours of classes when I first started. Just getting yourself to the classes and finishing the home work can streach you...

My freshmen year of college I took about 5 classes as well. They were all science, math and 1 English course. I never had any time, and the only free time I had, was on the weekends. So it all comes down to your course load and and how much work you are willing to put in it. If you think you can manage your time without sacrificing your study time, then go for it, if not then stay away from it for at least the first semester. Also you can talk to the club members and let them know of your situation, I am sure they will understand and will be ok if you come to the club meetings and events whenever you can, instead of going for the weekly routine meetings.

As for being nervous and anxious, do not worry about it. Almost all the students feel the same way as you. Even I did once when I first went to college. The fear of the unknown, especially stepping out in the real world for the first time, can be very frightening. But you have nothing to worry. Everyone in freshmen year will face almost the same fears, and in that fear, people will look to each other for friendship. Everyone is trying to make friendsbecause nobody wants to face freshmen year by themselves, so that will be a great opportunity for you to go make new friends in college. Don't by shy, be confident in yourself.

I don't know how much obligation those groups expect from their members, but I imagine they would be okay with it if you just went to the first one or two meetings to see if it was right for you, or if you are able to balance it with your coursework and then decided. (If they do expect 100% commitment from the moment you sign up, then it's probably best to wait a semester and take it slow, like you said.)

As far as feeling awkward in group situations...I totally get it. I'm very shy, and had a lot of trouble making friends my freshman year. I mean, I was pretty miserable those entire two semesters. BUT I hung in there, and the next year I changed dorms and made some of my best friends whom I still keep in contact with. If you're living in a dorm, your RA could be a good resource if you're feeling overwhelmed or lonely. After all, they're there to help you make the transition easier! I believe most schools offer free counseling too if you need someone to talk to confidentially, or if you don't feel comfortable going to your RA.

Good luck!!

If you aren't studying medicine, law, science or engineering you will definitely have free time ... perhaps even TONS of free time.

I am have started back to school after many years of being out of it so I can understand the stress that you are under and the pressures that you feel. College can be hard just on its own, but it seems that there is more to your stresses than just the class load. My best advice is two part.

1. It is always beneficial to have a support structure to aid you in times of struggle but be careful who you choose to be a part of that support structure as there are those who prey on individuals who are looking for support, Keep checking in on those groups to see what actives they have or are doing to get a feel for them and see if they are right for you.

2. Any advice is only someones opinion on a situation or how they feel they might go about things in that situation. My advice as well as anyone's advice should be analyzed critically before judgement passed or action taken.

The point of college is to learn, discover, and grow both in knowledge and as a person. If this is your goal then you will not only do fine ,but will do great. As others have put here I too think you will have a great time. Oh and as support structures go, look at how much support you got here, so if you need any support I am sure everyone here would welcome you anytime.

You're going to have an awesome time at College Ari. Most of us would sell our non-existant soul to go back and start college all over again. So jelous. Have fun Ari!!!!!!

So agreed!!!!!

I predict you'll feel awesome about it as soon as you meet these people. And it's not like a commitment to the military, or having to wear a scarlet letter at home because of it. Just spend as much time with them as you want to. Also, a percentage of them, like all people in society, will carry their personal problems around with them, so be able to just avoid anyone who gets over-emotional, or makes you feel uncomfortable. I even asked my straight girls to not let guys steal too much focus away from their studies. If you're not experienced with emotional attachments, just be as mindful as you can about what's happening.


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