Three Important Guidelines for Transitioning with a Diagnosed Condition
Managing a diagnosed mental health condition at college can be a balancing act, but you can still have a rewarding and fun college experience. Following your treatment regimen in addition to keeping up with your classes, hanging out with friends, fitting in a part-time job, and participating in extracurricular activities, can be challenging. The key is to be proactive about your emotional health.
Here are some tips to help you transition into college while also taking care of your emotional health and managing your condition.
1. Be Mindful.
When picking a school, it’s important to know yourself and work with your parents, counselor and anyone else involved in your treatment to choose a college that fits your interests, needs and any special requirements. Once you’ve selected a school, be realistic about your academic and social schedule. For instance, you might choose a less demanding class schedule your first few semesters, since freshman year can present many new — and potentially stressful — challenges.
Students who use campus counseling resources while at college are more likely to stay in school than students who do not use these services.
2. Find Support.
Once at college, you may be tempted to handle your emotional problem on your own. But, no matter how you’re feeling, it’s important to your overall well-being and academic success to find people and resources that can support you. Talk to your parents, mental health professionals and the school about your situation, so you can build a support network at your new school who can help you stay on track.
3. Have a Plan…and Plan for Setbacks.
College is a stressful time for all students. Dealing with mental health issues can make you even more susceptible to setbacks. Again, you can still enjoy a great college experience. What helps you thrive at school is to have a plan to deal with those setbacks. Create a plan for getting medical treatment when you need it, and for being safe if an emergency does occur.
Source used in this article: Turner, A. L. and Berry, T. R. (2000). Counseling center contributions to student retention and graduation: A longitudinal assessment. Journal of College Student Development.
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