Preparing for the new chapter of a teenager’s life of entering college is an exciting yet nerve-wracking time! There are so many things to do to prepare- such as shopping, finding a roommate, academic schedules, etc. The one area that many new college students forget to prepare for is addressing emotional and mental health needs while in their new environment of college life. This is an important aspect whether or not the student is living on or off campus. It is always better to be proactive rather than reactive, so the student will know who to contact if they, or someone they know, is struggling. During college visits/orientation, it is helpful for the student to know the location of the counseling office on campus, as well as the contact information of the staff, and hours of operation. Depending upon where the college campus is, the student should also have resources available to them such as crisis/talk lines available to them through their specific county or campus. The National Suicide Prevention line is 1-800-273-8255, which is accessible to the student no matter which college campus they are located at.
There is no way to 100% prepare yourself for the stresses of transitioning to college life, but having coping strategies in place is a great way to set yourself up for success in managing your mental health. Transitioning to college life also means that new coping strategies need to be implemented due to the new environment and access to people or places that are of comfort. If you are struggling with the thought of preparing for college, collaborating with a therapist can help! You do not have to be on this journey alone.