Thousands of students across the nation will soon be packing up and heading off for their first year of college. Armed with the latest dorm-room supplies, new course books, and career ambitions, they’ll enter a new stage of life.
As exciting as the transition to college can be, it’s important to develop a plan for support. When you think about it, college students are separated from their traditional support systems overnight.
On top of that, they’ll also face many new challenges socially, academically, and mentally. It’s no surprise that anxiety often spikes during this time of transition. Luckily, there are some ways both students and parents can prepare for this season of change during the summer months.
Work On Time Management
For the majority of first-year students, college brings a new sense of independence. The household rules of high school are quickly replaced with extracurricular commitments , socialization, and, of course, studying. With the immense pressure to get the full college “experience” it’s more important than ever to develop good time-management skills.
Work on prioritizing your schedule and commitments. Be sure to block off a time for classes, sleep, and other obligations. Deciding how to prioritize and organize your time is an individual skill. Make sure to include time for self-care and relaxation!
Put A Support System In Place
Preparation is an essential part of a healthy transition. Make sure your family has a great support system in place. Create a safe, judgement-free zone that’s both uplifting and encouraging. This type of system is vital for facing the ups and downs of campus life.
Learn Stress-Management Skills According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, a shocking 85% of college students reported they had felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do at some point within the past year. Mental health among college-age students continues to be a rising concern.
Work together as a family to discuss healthy outlets for stress than can help manage the tension of everyday life. Everything from sports, exercise, and mediation are great ways to manage stress. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your support system both on and off campus.
Understand The Importance of Sleep
It might be tempting to burn the midnight oil to finish a project, but remember that sleep is not optional…it’s essential! Sleep deprivation can affect the way you handle everyday stressors. Also, insufficient sleep can put you at his for health conditions like obesity and depression. Make your health a priority!
Healthy boundaries are an important part of all relationships. Before heading to college, have a family conversation about your plan for communication. It’s important for parents to give their teens room for personal growth even when it’s hard. Try setting a time to talk that works for everyone’s schedule to connect.
Above all, start an open conversation about drugs, alcohol, and other pressures associated with the college years. Families who build a strong foundation and have good communication will take on college with excitement and pride.