Handling the Transition to College: Treatment for Students in the Greater Boston Area

Endless nights spent studying prior to tests and quizzes, innumerable hours dedicated to extracurricular activities, precious minutes of sleep cut short so as to groggily step into the classroom before the bell rings – all culminate in a triumphant graduation from high school. Many graduates will then embark on the next phase of their educational journey, departing from their familiar hometowns and settling onto their new college campuses. Often, incoming college students have preconceived notions about how their college experiences will look and feel. Namely, that the transition from high school to college will be effortlessly smooth in both the academic and social arenas. Many students harbor expectations that their college experience will consist of amazing parties, the same good grades they achieved in high school, and a solid group of friends that they instantly click with.

College is meant to be a stimulating, fun, and transformative experience. However, the transition can also be overwhelming and stressful. Incoming students are often learning how to manage their recently acquired independence after having leaned on parental assistance for their entire lives. Without their guidance, homesickness may hit hard. As young adults attempt to navigate an unfamiliar terrain, there is a huge surge in reported daily stress levels. The sheer breadth of courses, opportunities, and choices can overwhelm even the most confident burgeoning adult. Some college students, particularly those in their first-year, report an increase in feelings of depression and anxiety.

Suggestions for New College Students

Thankfully, there are many suggestions and tools that students can utilize in order to facilitate the transition into college; the compassionate and knowledgeable therapists at Transitions Counseling can aid in the creation of personalized plans for students who need help adjusting. Eating healthfully and exercising regularly will increase energy levels. Prioritizing academics will help prevent the stress of falling behind in class. Getting to know adults on campus will provide a built-in knowledge base and support system. Taking advantage of numerous on-campus resources, such as a counseling center, reflection group, health center, religious group, or tutoring center can help students feel more organized, involved, and at home. Participating in clubs, intramural teams, or volunteer groups is a great way to connect with the school community and foster new relationships. Finding another support system consisting of new cherished friends in college can be a challenge, but exploring different interests and new activities will open students up to meeting others who share the same passions. By the same token, students should be careful not to overcommit or spread themselves too thin. Participating in too much can be tiresome and it will be hard to gain much from any of them.

The various novel situations that college students find themselves in may give rise to conflict at times. Some students will face roommate problems, friendship drama, or even just confusing assignments. These circumstances present the perfect opportunity to foster communication skills; the best way to tackle these sorts of issues is by communicating openly and honestly in order to clarify the issue and move towards a solution. Also, college students should keep in touch with prior support systems. Loved ones will likely be more than happy to offer comfort and guidance, even if it is from a distance. The highly skilled team of professionals at Transitions Counseling in Franklin, MA can act as a support system as well.

In addition, when anxiety levels rise, new college students should utilize the coping mechanisms that have worked for them in the past, such as reading for pleasure, taking a walk, or talking on the phone with a friend. Older students or professors might also act as a resource in stressful times, doling out practical advice or gems of wisdom. Another way to alleviate stress is to banish expectations of immediate perfection. College courses are meant to be more difficult than high school classes, and it takes time to develop the new skills necessary to adapt to the academic rigor of college. Similarly, amazing friendships rarely develop overnight, so patience is key when it comes to letting genuine relationships flourish.

Benefits of Counseling Services for College Students

Transitioning into college can be a tough adjustment, and many students benefit from treatment. Therapy sessions with a qualified and experienced professional at Transitions Counseling can provide college-age young adults with helpful tips for stress management. These sessions offer an emotional outlet for students, a safe space in which to discuss adjustment issues with trained therapists. Many young adults benefit from these sessions in Greater Boston, and are able to identify their main problems and begin working towards a solution. Also, since the therapists at Transitions Counseling are all either certified or obtaining certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), they are able to explore and treat any issues that may run deeper, such as depression or anxiety. The Transitions Counseling team can help ensure that the transition into college runs as smoothly as possible. To learn more about the team of therapists or to request an appointment in Franklin, MA, call 781-742-4515. A friendly team member can help set up a session.