It’s that time of year again! Students are returning to college or beginning college for the first time. Although an exciting time in students’ lives, it can also produce great stress. For first time students, attending college locally or at a distance from their parents may cause great anxiety. This may be something students have longed for, especially in their last year of high school. Now that the time has arrived to start a new venture, feelings of worry, fear, and/or separation anxiety may begin to surface. Attending college is a wonderful experience; however, it is a new experience for which young people are not always well equipped to handle initially.
Returning to school also presents challenges as students have enjoyed the relaxation of summer. Entering college requires diligence, time management, hard work, and effort to meet the demands of academia. These skills may have been put on hold for the summer months, or for a much longer period of time. Dusting them off to begin school adds pressure to students. Acclimating to the rigors of academia require time, though quick preparation is necessary in order to be ready for the assignments that follow. This is also true for incoming first-year students. The ideas that may have been conjured may far exceed the demands of the curriculum, creating undue anxiety and performance angst. On the other hand, underestimating the rigors of college academics places incoming first-year students at a disadvantage as they are unprepared for the demands to follow. Feeling overwhelmed and unprepared heightens anxiety and depression as students do not believe they are neither capable of the work nor able to manage the time constraints.
Any life change, whether good or bad, places stress on individuals. With young adults, learning to deal with life changes and make decisions without the immediate assistance of their parents creates anxiety, depression, and anger. They may become discouraged and want to withdrawal. However, with additional assistance, students can excel academically and learn to cope with the time management and academic issues. The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) program offers individual counseling designed to meet students’ needs. Time management, problem solving, anxiety, and depression are addressed on an individual basis. Learning to break down tasks to meaning portions can assist at reducing the feelings of being overwhelmed and lead to successful academic completion.
Students in need can contact the CAPS office via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (771-4088) to schedule an appointment. Students can also stop by the office during office hours (Mondays 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.). Additional office hours will be posted and offered based on student need.