My College Move Caused My Sister To Develop Separation Anxiety

My College Move Caused My Little Sister To Develop Separation Anxiety

Students moving to college has a ripple effect on families that is too often overlooked

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Moving to college is a daunting experience for almost every first-year student. It can be lonely, awkward, and you might miss your family... a lot. It makes you realize that after living with your parents and siblings for eighteen years, the act of uprooting what you have always known and leaving it all behind, is a really strange thing to do. You are no longer surrounded by the core people that have made you who you are today. And while I was dealing with these circumstances, I failed to notice how it takes effect on my sibling's emotions.

While it was obvious that my parents were dealing with the great heartache of their first child leaving the nest, I never considered the distress that it would cause in the lives of my siblings. A whole person is taken out of the original family dynamic, changing the ambiance of their household life entirely. I feel that this is often disregarded, as every event from graduation, to move in day, is about the child who is leaving. But it wasn't until my family began to relay the distressing tendencies of my eleven-year-old sister, did I recognize that she was showing signs of depression. And the guilt hit me instantly.

My mom and dad would each call me on multiple occasions to tell me how often she seemed to not be present or was not eating enough. Whether at the dinner table, in the car, or out shopping on the weekends, they could not seem to lift her spirits. They would also complain that from the time she arrived home from school until bedtime, she remained in her room, on her phone or computer. Although for a preteen this is not unusual, it was shocking to us as she used to spend the majority of after-school time with friends, and later hanging out with the family until it was time for bed.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that her self isolation must stem from the fact that my parents went through a divorce a few years ago, leading to me becoming a motherly figure to her during the nights spent at my dad's house. And she was probably just starting to adjust to that agenda until I left for school in August. But she was not the only one left feeling like she was missing something.

Although my brother doesn't outright show that he was as affected by my departure, he has mentioned to me many times how neither house feels as home-like with me gone. Because of this, he disregards any attempt to better his home relationships and often uses his newly acquired car to drive to his friend's houses where he spends most nights. Although this is his coping mechanism, it leaves my sister home with only one parent or the other, feeling like a newly appointed only child.

The issue with this is that my parents don't know how to give proper attention to a metaphorical only child, nor do they have the time. My siblings and I always had each other to keep company so it was never an issue. Therefore, my sister is left lonely, and slowing receding into mildly depressive tendencies. And no matter how often I encourage her to call me and discuss her feelings, I get the idea that she doesn't believe that anyone will understand, or that she feels as though discussing her feelings becomes a burden to others.

Luckily my family recognized what she was going through after a while, and has begun to take action to help her out of this funk. However, the possible mental illness that I saw her beginning to develop at such an early age is extremely worrisome to me. Not only do we live in a world where mental illnesses are more prominent than ever due to social media, but sometimes the families of those affected are the ones blindly causing it. We need to encourage our parents and siblings to bring about their compassion for each other more often. Because in a fast-paced world like the one we live in, where everything is constantly going, we often forget to look at those around us and make sure that they are feeling valued and heard.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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40 Finals-Week Moods Stressed College Students Have, Every Year From Freshman To Senior

Inside the minds of many during college finals.

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I recorded responses from college students of all grades describing their current state of mind as they prepare for the end of the year. Do you feel the same way? If you can't relate, these are the realities of many during this crunch to the end of the year.

Freshman Year Mood

1. Initial thought when you wake up? "Study"

2. Food Craving? "Chocolate"

3. How many hours do you sleep? "8"

4. How do you relax from studying? "Take a nap"

5. If you could tell your professors anything? "I need more time"

6. What will you do after your last test? "Pack to go home"

7. Study Skills? "Quizlet"

8. Overcoming Mental Breakdown? "Watch a movie"

9. Biggest misconception about finals week? "There is time to go out"

10. What will you look back on about finals week? "Knowing that you don't have to study every minute of the day"

Sophomore Year Mood

1. Initial thought when you wake up? - "What is the weather today"

2. Food Craving? "Breakfast food"

3. How many hours do you sleep? "9"

4. How do you relax from studying? "Sit outside"

5. If you could tell your professors anything? "Please don't make the tests too hard"

6. What will you do after your last test? " Get ready for SUMMER"

7. Study Skills? "rewrite your notes"

8. Overcoming Mental Breakdown? "take a break"

9. Biggest misconception about finals week? "tests are not a hundred questions long"

10. What will you look back on about finals week? "If you time manage you don't have to do all-nighters"

Junior Year Mood

1. Initial thought when you wake up? - "How am I going to get through today"

2. Food Craving? "Candy anything with sugar"

3. How many hours do you sleep? "6"

4. How do you relax from studying? "I don't plug through is the only option"

5. If you could tell your professors anything? "Am I in a circus"

6. What will you do after your last test? " reward myself BIG time"

7. Study Skills? "Don't sleep until you know it"

8. Overcoming Mental Breakdown? "Rely on friends and your Mom"

9. Biggest misconception about finals week? " It is actually my favorite week if you know what you're doing in your classes. You don't have busy work"

10. What will you look back on about finals week? "That I should have studied earlier"

Senior Year Mood

1. Initial thought when you wake up? - " I think about everything I have to do, more importantly I ned to pass my finance class"

2. Food Craving? "Ice Cream"

3. How many hours do you sleep? "4"

4. How do you relax from studying? "I watch an episode of my favorite TV show"

5. If you could tell your professors anything? "Nothing nice"

6. What will you do after your last test? " Go get a drink"

7. Study Skills? "When it comes to formulas, memorization is key... flashcards"

8. Overcoming Mental Breakdown? "You are allowed to have one, but regroup"

9. Biggest misconception about finals week? "You have to spend an equal amount of time for every class to study... If you know it, don't over do it"

10. What will you look back on about finals week? "That I made It through"

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