What does transitioning to or from college feel like?
It might not be a surprise to learn that entering or exiting college (as well as everything that happens in between) can feel different for each individual. This is because each person’s experience is unique, based on a variety of factors.
Getting ready for college is a whirlwind — it is something many students plan for their entire life yet can be perceived as a rushed experience when it is upon you.
- You’ve studied for as long as you can remember, taken innumerable tests and written even more papers
- You’ve carefully decided which schools to apply to (weighing the pros and cons of a small college versus a large university, an online or local experience versus traveling a distance away, a cost effective school versus a spurge, etc.)
- You’ve received your acceptances (and in all likelihood rejections)
- You’ve decided which school to pursue plus how to finance it
…and now it’s time to actually prepare for your college experience. It is exhausting just thinking about the process of college preparation. The shift to and from college is a meaningful adjustment during adolescence — often filled with excitement, anxiety, and the unknown; it should be treated accordingly.
What is causing anxiety around entering or exiting college? How could therapy help?
BeWELL therapists look to unpack the underlying reasons of college stress rather than simply treating the symptoms.
We have all undergone some points of transition in our lives. Sometimes we have the defenses to tolerate these transitions when we are faced with them, but other times our defenses are not equipped. When our natural defenses are not adequate to handle these transitions, we may find we fill in the gaps with our own coping mechanisms.
Students with anxiety around college may continue to actually create anxiety until they learn to tolerate not feeling anxious. When someone has been anxious for a duration of time, they may, at some unconscious level, grow uncomfortable with the idea of not feeling anxious – as anxiety has become so intrinsic to one’s own identity. How can we adjust this? Getting help and taking control is BeWELL’s priority when it comes to reducing anxiety during major life transitions; this allows you to live your best life.
We’ve shared 7 can’t miss things you should know about going to college here. When approaching college, it’s important to recognize how flexibility is core to your experience as you navigate roommates, new friendships, rigorous classes, and more. New college students should consider finances (surprise expenses like textbooks can sneak up on you), safety (remaining mindful of risky situations), and time management (the freedom college presents can be incredible… it can also be a challenge). There are many factors to consider when entering college; preparation is key during this pivotal life transition.
And just like that your college experience may come to a close. It might feel as though just yesterday you were sitting at orientation or awaiting your roommate assignment — yet today you may be approaching your graduation. What’s next?
It will be helpful to reflect on your experiences — what you’ve learned, the connections you’ve made, what you’re especially proud of, and even what you might have done differently. While it is an important thought exercise on its own, it is valuable to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to jot down the organizations you’ve joined, roles you’ve held, and even professors you’ve grown close to over the years. As you enter the workforce, these experiences will matter.
More tactically, we recommend connecting with career services or your school counselor prior to departing campus (or graduating if online). Align with these resources to inquire “What do students tend to forget to do before they leave?” so that you can be ahead of the curve upon graduation.
How will I know if therapy will help me with changes surrounding college?
Whether you’re a freshman, senior, or somewhere in between — therapy always gives you a place where your feelings are accepted; maybe you feel as though you don’t want to burden others with your feelings? Therapists help you identify and acclimate to better handle your feelings during this big life change. If whatever you’re doing isn’t enough to cope with such a shift, consider therapy as a tool to allow you to live the fullest expression of your life.
What types of therapy do BeWELL therapists use with college students?
We are a team of psychodynamic therapists (a fancy way of saying that we help you look at the underneath). We don’t give homework, however when necessary we use skills based treatment tools to help you identify early onset of anxiety and use different tools to identify repetition and devise new ways to react. At our core, we help you examine your repetitive behaviors, as well as identify your thoughts and feelings around what’s happening. Our goal is to guide and encourage you toward your fullest self expression.
How do I know when I’m making progress with therapy? What are the benefits?
Successful BeWELL clients start to get the things in their life that they want. With progress, you’ll start to feel more connected to the world. Therapy provides you with a place where you can talk about anything without judgment.
Our BeWELL therapists are well learned in a variety of fields and are here to help you become your best self. Whether you are struggling with issues related to Anxiety, Depression, Sexual Orientation, Race and Identity, school, or relationships, BeWELL therapists welcome you with an open ear. We are ready to connect with you.