The transition from high school to campus life is a BIG milestone for a teen! A milestone that’s met with great anticipation and excitement for many adolescents.
It’s the first time living alone…
adapting to unfamiliar schedules…
and adjusting to a new stage in life.
As parents, helping your child make the transition to college can be a major undertaking.We all want to give our children the tools and resources they need to make the best of their college years. But one of the most important tools we can give them is our support and guidance when it comes to anxiety and depression during their college years.
Step One: Start The Conversation
Communication is an essential part of identifying and treating anxiety and depression at any stage in life. Normalizing the conversation about mental health and emotions helps your teen communicate their feelings even from miles away.
The more normal we make conversations about mental health, the easier having these conversations will become. Honest and open conversations can be pivotal when it comes to getting your teen the help and support they may need during this transition. Talk about oncampus resources for mental wellness. Make sure your college student knows she has a support team both academically and emotionally.
Step Two: Provide Helpful Resources
If you haven’t already, talk to your teen about healthy ways to deal with stress that will help them thrive during their college years and beyond. Teach them valuable, lifelong skills like…
• Goal Setting
• Time Management
Practicing these concepts at an early stage in life can help lay the groundwork for a bright future. Make sure your teen knows where to turn for on-campus help and support during this major life transition.
Step Three: Stay Connected
Nothing is more important than the health and safety of your child. And, during these transitional years, you might see your new college student lose their confidence, question their likability, and even doubt their ability to succeed academically and socially.
Though these feelings are all normal for this stage in life, it’s important for parents and professors to identify symptoms of depression and anxiety commonly associated with the college years. Remember to be a good listener and reserve your judgement.
Have patience and lead with compassion. Most importantly, never be afraid to intervene if necessary. There are many treatments available that can help your teen manage their depressive and anxious thoughts.
Incorporating these steps into your college-transition plan can help your teen become a productive, happy, healthy person for life!