Off to College

Off to College

Going off to college, whether it is your first time or your last can be a lot to manage. There are so many internal and external costs and benefits.  The responsibility of independence, as well as social, academic, and financial commitments, can feel overwhelming.  The transition to college, while exciting, can often add a great deal of stress to one’s life.

Be equipped to make this upcoming year a happy and healthy one by utilizing these mental health tips:

  1. Stay organized: Keeping track of what you have to do, when you have to do it, and what supplies you might need, will make life a whole lot easier. This will alleviate any worrying about missing deadlines and should hopefully keep you from last minute cramming sessions.
  2. Eat healthy: Maintaining a healthy diet will help to keep your body balanced and feeling good. This should also help to prevent you from getting sick.
  3. Get some sleep: Newfound freedom and additional responsibilities often result in college students getting less sleep than they did in high school. Getting at least 6 hours of sleep is crucial to proper brain-development, staying focused in class, retaining as much knowledge as possible, and maintaining your physical health.
  4. Get involved: Follow an existing passion or find a new passion on campus. This will help you to connect with your school’s community and can lead to new experiences.
  5. Avoid drug/alcohol abuse: It is an unfortunate reality that there is an increased access to drugs and alcohol on college campuses. Do not turn to these substances as a means of fitting in or addressing the stressors of college life. If you find yourself struggling with pressure to use drugs or are caught in the cycle of addiction, please reach out to the Guidance Center at 516-626-1971 for help.
  6. Consider coping mechanisms: College can be a very stressful time. Between the classwork, exams, social life, and personal life, it all adds up. Find something that allows you to decompress such as exercising, crafting, listening to music, or speaking with a friend or family member.
  7. Find a support network: Through your experiences, you will become close with friends, faculty, and staff. Allow yourself to build a network with those that you relate to and trust.
  8. Visit your school’s counseling center: Many colleges and universities provide counseling services for limited to no cost. Be proactive and take note of their number or location on campus in case you find yourself in need of their services.
  9. Be flexible: College is a time of significant change for most young people. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the growth process. Not everything works out how we want to or how we expect it. This time in your life presents a great opportunity to build up your resilience and to learn various techniques for overcoming obstacles and correcting divergences in the future.
  10. Make the most of it: Study, stay safe, stay healthy, and have fun!