National Eating Disorders Association

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Going to college with this

Ahhh I need advice!!!

Soo basically, I have always dealt with confidence issues and eating issues, but not to the degree that I am now. I had suffered from an eating disorder in high school, but then it came back worse than ever during my first year of college in Florida. It was probably a mix having to start from nothing and wear tiny bikinis and clubbing outfits all the time. Because of this, it was hard for me to find true friends at first because I had such low confidence and thought everyone I met saw me as I saw myself. I called my mom crying everyday and had a really hard time finding my way until the last month of my freshman year.

SO now my mom really wants me to transfer to a university closer to my home. I am still really unsure of what is best for me right now. I still have a lot to work on for my recovery, which I have been doing in an IOP program, but I really want to go away to school. I have a nutritionist and therapist already set up for me at my current university and already know what to expect. If I go to a new university, I am afraid I may have a hard time starting from nothing again. I also feel like the reason I hated my school so much at first was because of my disorder, not the school.

Do you think I should transfer? Or will going back to school more aware of my illness make it easier to handle?



I understand your dilemma, I had such a similar situation to yours and it was difficult to make a decision like that. However, it was ultimately my decision and even if sometimes I wish I had done it differently, I knew I was the one that had decided and knew that others had not unduly influenced me so there were no major regrets. This decision will ultimately be yours as well since you know yourself best. One thing I did to make this decision easier was make a pro/con list of everything I could think of if I stayed and then if I left. I realized that once I started writing the list I had actually already made my decision, I just didn't realize it yet. This may not work for you, or it may not become obvious once you start making the list, but as I mentioned above you know yourself best and it can be harder to lie to yourself about reasons for staying or going. Your ED may also have a large influence on what you should do as a way to keep you from recovering, so if that is a voice you recognize, be aware of that.

You could also have a pro/con conversation with a support whom you trust and know could help you work through it, perhaps not your mother if you feel she would be to biased to one decision. The NEDA helpline could be a resource you could use as well. Sometimes talking to an unbiased stranger who is willing to support you in recovery, no matter what the decision is, could help you see a decision that you may already have in your head. The helpline hours are M-F 9-9EST 1-800-931-2237. Or you could do the same with the therapist you have already lined up at your school if you feel comfortable with them.

There will always be options. You seem dedicated to your recovery so no matter what happens, if a decision doesn't work out a year or two down the line, recovery is still possible and your strength will get you through. There may be other options you haven't explored yet too, like if you end up wanting to be closer to home but not really transfer, maybe just taking a semester or two off could be the answer. Never forget there are always options, it's just a matter of brainstorming and figuring out what will work for you because this is ultimately your recovery. Stay Strong!

Thanks for sharing,

Thanks for sharing, isabellasof!
I agree will all of BrianaM200's great advice and suggestions, and just wanted to add on that it may be worth it to talk to your school's nutritionist and therapist at your current university before school starts (or to the university health service in general) to see what is in place for you so you can see how you feel about their plan. I do think you need to be honest with yourself. If you really like the school you're at now, then creating a consistent plan with your nutritionist/therapist there may be the best of both worlds. Transitioning to a new school may bring up new insecurities while being around new people that can feed the ED feelings... on the other hand, staying at your school, like Briana said, may prolong the ED. The time off is another good idea by Briana - maybe just doing a semester or two worth of classes at a school near home with credits that could transfer could be another happy medium.

Your determination is inspiring and though recovery may take some trial and error, and involve ups and downs, you are taking the right steps!

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