As school begins for this Fall semester, here are five tips for college students to keep in mind. Whether you are a young adult or an adult beginning or returning to college, this blog will help you prepare while keeping your mental health a priority.
College can be a stressful, overwhelming experience. While there are benefits and positivity to going to college, it’s not for everyone. It may be that you do not necessarily need to go to college to pursue your career, or it does not fit where you are in life at the moment.
Dealing with stress and anxiety can be difficult at times. It’s common for individuals to resort to using substances, like alcohol or drugs, to cope. There are other unhealthy coping mechanisms that people engage in, such as self-harming behaviors, to try to deal with the weight of it all.
It’s important to know that you are not alone while you struggle with stress. Whether the stress is coming from finances, balancing your schedule, feeling certain with what you want to do, or finding companionship, you can find support and relief.
Consider starting therapy in Simi Valley to address any concerns prior to beginning your semester. From there, you and your therapist can work together, facing them head-on and helping you be prepared for what college will bring you.
Navigating college, whether it’s for the first time or returning, can be a stressful or overwhelming experience. But when you find the right support and balance, anything is possible.
5 Tips for College Students: Be kind to yourself
The first important tip for college students is to be kind to yourself. College can be fast-paced and you may feel expected to know exactly what career path you want to go on. You could also feel pressured to excel in all the classes that align with your major.
Due to stress and expectations we place on ourselves, it’s possible that we talk negatively to ourselves. We critique ourselves, judge ourselves, and overall do not have patience or gentleness.
Being kind to yourself includes accepting where we are. It’s okay if we are struggling with a certain subject, and may have to re-take it the following semester. It’s okay if we do not have every single thing planned out, like our classmates may have.
Make sure to talk to yourself kindly and be patient with yourself. College is not a race or a competition – all that matters is how you perform in a way that works best. Try to not be too hard on yourself and allow room for mistakes and growth.
Being gentle and patient with yourself – navigating college doesn’t always feel easy, but you can get there with effort and practice.
5 Tips for College Students: Plan accordingly
Plan your time accordingly in college. It’s very common that students are often working on the side, and could have a family to take care of. By planning your time wisely, you won’t be struggling to complete things last minute, which can be stressful and not your best work.
One way to plan accordingly is to take note of your class syllabus. Obtain a planner journal or wall/desk calendar, and begin writing out the class assignment schedule. Emphasize important dates, such as when major projects or papers are due.
It can also help to add reminders for assignments a few weeks in advance. A majority of college students are also balancing having a social life and having some downtime for themselves. When you can plan that time accordingly, you won’t feel rushed into doing assignments.
You can drop in homework and study times when you are looking at your month from the beginning. This method can also work in holding yourself accountable to get ahead on assignments and complete them on time as well.
When we juggle multiple priorities with not enough time in our day, we can easily experience burnout. If you are considering getting started in counseling, but don’t know what format may be best for you, check out our blog on Online Therapy or In-Office Therapy.
Doing bits and pieces of a big project in the weeks leading up to its due date, is much more efficient than doing it all the night before.
5 Tips for College Students: Develop routines
Developing routines is a great way to stay on track and have a sense of balance throughout your time in college. If you are going into everyday unprepared, you can feel frazzled and stressed. You may forget certain things, schedules, or find yourself rushing throughout the day.
Taking time to develop a solid routine will help you out in the long run. Whether it’s the same routine everyday, or it’s a similar one that varies depending on what that certain day holds for you.
These routines can include having a morning, daytime, and nighttime routine. It could be that in the mornings, you wake up at a set time everyday to shower, make breakfast/have coffee, and get ready. You may also work-out in the mornings, either by going on a run, walking, or to the gym.
During the daytime, you have classes and walk. You can create a routine for getting lunch, taking breaks, studying, doing homework, and more. Finally you may even prioritize a nighttime routine to practice skin care, read a book for fun, spend time with friends, or watch your favorite TV show. Plan to get to bed at a certain time each night so that you can keep waking up at the same time as well.
Whatever your routine may be, establishing one can help you maintain structure and balance throughout the day.
If you find that family issues are interfering with your daily routines, consider seeking out family therapy in Simi Valley, CA.
5 Tips for College Students: Find community
Find a community within your college campus. This can look like joining different societies on campus, hanging around areas to meet people with similar interests, or spending time with peers for studying and doing homework.
There are often recreational activities and centers on campus, designed to meet student’s interests and needs. One area could be a game room, with different devices and types of games to play.
Another area could be sport centers, such as the gym, any school sports teams, swimming pools, or more. There may be gardening areas on campus, various clubs held weekly, or other groups that are always accepting new students into them.
Make sure to check out any student centers or organizations to find more information on places you would like to be a part of, such as multicultural centers or designated centers for LGBTQIA+.
Consider doing some research on any potential schools prior to joining to ensure that your value systems align. You may want to make sure you’re going to a more progressive school that openly supports BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals.
At New Leaf Marriage & Family Therapy, our therapists provide holistically-minded and culturally humble psychotherapeutic services. One service we offer is LGBTQIA+ affirmative therapy in Simi Valley, CA. Click here to read our blog on What is LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Therapy?
5 Tips for College Students: Seek out resources on campus
Seek out resources on campus alongside finding community resources. While you may find a club or group that you fit right into, you know that you are still in need of additional support.
Colleges usually offer free counseling and psychiatric services to those in need. Make sure to do research on what those programs and resources look like, and how you can get started in them.
Other resources, such as academic advisors, will help you plan out your class schedule from the beginning of your journey until you graduate. They can also help address any concerns with transferring credits, having enough credits per semester, and picking the class that works best for you.
There may be other resources as well for things that we don’t usually think of. This includes library technicians, who can help you find books for classes or assignments. Career advisors may also be a part of your school resources, where they can advise you in choosing a career path, creating a resume, and going to job fairs.
At the end of the day, college can be a lot to take in. It can be stressful and overwhelming at times. But, with the right support and guidance, you can get to where you want to be. You can begin to find relief, and excitement in learning everyday.
Counseling in Simi Valley, CA can help you learn to manage and cope with stress or anxiety, to be the best version of yourself everyday.
Our intake coordinator at New Leaf Marriage & Family Therapy will guide you through a transparent, caring intake process in getting started in anxiety therapy. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns about getting started.
Consider calling our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.