Connected Support During the College-Aged Years
Over the years, in my work with young adults who are either making the transition into college or out of college into the “real world,” I have come to see that these populations are often drastically underserved during one of the most vulnerable, changing times in their lives. Providing therapy, coaching and mentorship to these young adults helps them increase self-awareness, identify blind spots, practice communication and conflict resolution skills, negotiate external pressures, trust self while staying connected to peers, and navigate decisions, big and small.
Entering College: The College Years
Though teenagers differ in their responses to going away to college – some present as excited and ready while others present as anxious and timid – all teenagers must face the inevitable ups and downs associated with this huge change.
Some of the most common struggles and concerns of young adults entering college are:
- Stress associated with a heavy academic load
- Feeling homesick
- Living in close quarters with others
- Social anxiety
- Peer pressure
- Alcohol and drug use
- Eating disorders and body image dysmorphia
- Individuation from parents
- Sexual Experimentation; Sexual Pressure
Exiting College and Entering the “Real World.”
The transition out of college or into the “real world” is often scary and unsettling for young adults. For many, this is the first time in their lives without any solid infrastructure. Left to fend for themselves and create an “adult” life, they are now faced with a whole slew of adult decisions and choices – what city or town they will live in, what job/career they desire, applying and interviewing for jobs, finding a place to live, paying rent and bills, deciding what outside activities and hobbies they will do, forming a social life outside of an academic setting – basically managing the life and responsibilities of adulthood. The pressures of this challenging transition are often drastically underestimated. There are often little or no support systems to help these young adults explore their fears and concerns and manage the very real stressors of this new developmental stage of mature young adulthood.
Common struggles include:
- Career confusion
- Financial Insecurity
- Loneliness and isolation
- Menial work
My approach in working with young adults – either entering college, exiting college or finding an alternative route altogether – is to support them in exploring the struggles of leaving the familiar and comfortable halls of childhood and adolescence and entering into this, often exciting but also scary, independence, responsibility and freedom of adulthood. I work candidly and directly with these youth, supporting them in acknowledging and exploring the excitement of their newfound freedom as well as the feelings of fear and uncertainty about their future. I work closely with college counseling centers, parents and other providers (nutritionists, psychiatrists, physicians) to ensure excellent care and support for my clients.
Video Sessions For Young Adults
Many universities and colleges only provide short-term mental health services. This particularly presents problems for students in rural areas where there are few therapists available for longer term support. While universities in bigger cities have access to therapists off-campus, it is often difficult for students to navigate transportation, busy schedules and referrals. Video sessions eliminate the time-pressures of transportation and can more easily fit into the often chaotic schedules of college life.