A less anxiety-ridden adjustment to College
Stress and anxiety can be paralyzing and an emotional roller coaster especially for our teenagers as they make the leap to college. For many it is the first time that they have left home and are no longer under the watchful eye of an adult. They immediately have quite a significant amount of responsibility put upon them coupled with no longer having day to day interactions with their friends that have supported them throughout their high school years. To help combat the stress and anxiety that they will feel, here are 5 strategies to help them make a smooth, less anxiety-ridden adjustment to college life. These are wonderful points of discussion to sit down and go through with your young adult.
1.Know your academic strengths and unique qualities
Remember who you are and your unique qualities and talents that make you special. Take those with you and embrace them as you gain more independence. If it is helpful, write them down and put it in a place that you will see and read everyday as a reminder to yourself.
Knowing where your academic strengths lie and choosing classes in these areas will help as you are initially getting used to a new place, schedule, and managing your time. Do you prefer to write papers or take multiple choice tests? Check the requirements of specific classes to help guide you. Maybe you are not a morning person – think before deciding to take an 8 am class.
2. Trust your inner voice
While you have been maturing and trusting who you are as a leader in your high school, the uncertainty of a new setting and new life can make you question your confidence and the decisions that you make. Remember your special inner voice that has guided you and will continue to guide if you listen carefully.
3. Do not repeat previous mistakes
Throughout your high school years there have been many times that you have made mistakes – waited until the 11th hour to study for an exam or had a lofty goal to get involved in 4 clubs which spread you too thin. Reflect on these times, think about what your needs are to create balance and put into place strategies and set realistic goals that will lessen your stress.
4. Know who you can call
Think about the amazing friends that have supported you along your journey. They will still be there for you. You can live in different places, experience different things but you can come back together and the foundation of your friendship will still there.
Trusted friends who can be supportive are incredibly important not only throughout your life but as you transition into college. Know who you can call, Facetime, and/or talk to whenever you need someone. Ask for help. As you move on there will be situations that arise in which you will feel lost. Remember that it is okay to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of intelligence. Ask for it, you are not alone. Failure will occur, you are living and learning, it is a part of life. Grow from the experience and forgive yourself.
5. Remain positive and be open to new possibilities
College is a time to explore and learn about different people, ideas, and subjects. Staying positive about your experience and being open to new possibilities can lead you to a passion that you may never have known about. Getting involved in clubs or groups are a wonderful way to meet others that may share similar interests.
Again knowing who you are, what you are capable of, and listening to your inner voice will keep you moving in the right direction and help you make positive decisions as you move on to college.
—Mary & Claire
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