By: Kat O’Keefe, MFT-Intern, Supervised by Dr. Mark White, LMFT-S
Perhaps your child or you yourself have recently just graduated high school and are preparing to enter in the next phase of life on a college campus. Newly in adulthood there is much excitement, a chance to gain new experiences, develop new relationships, gain a sense of independence, and start the path to achieve your dreams and goals. However, with all this excitement many times young adults are hit quickly with a heavy weight of self-discovery and are faced with questions like “Who really am I?” and “What do I want for my life?” once stepping foot on a college campus. These are questions I have known countless college age students wrestle with along with the newly added responsibilities of becoming an adult.
Whether it’s 10 hours from home or just 15 minutes down the road, a college campus is often the first time a young adult is experiencing our world on their own. This adjustment period can be difficult for many no matter how naturally independent an individual might be. Along with the urge to discover who you are as a person there are also unique situations that come with a college campus that make it even harder for a young adult. Suddenly you are responsible for showing up to class, taking care of assignments, and preparing for exams without a parent or teacher making sure you are setting yourself up for success academically. You are introduced to new people, situations, and ways of thinking that you might not have encountered before in your life. You want to be successful in school and have a social life, but it feels that you cannot do both. You might now be financially independent for the first time in your life and feel overwhelmed and in over your head.
When a young adult is faced with these things away from the comfort or support they felt at home, mental health can begin to decline. Depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and unhealthy habits/relationships are just a few of the things that can develop when a young adult is overwhelmed with this newly entered adulthood and they do not seek help or guidance.
Therapy with a professional who understands these issues unique to young adults on a college campus can help transform a once overwhelmed individual into a thriving young adult. Learning and understanding how to develop a sense of self, coping skills, healthy relationships, and balancing responsibilities will help you or your adult child make the absolute most out of this phase of life. My goal as a therapist working with young adults in college is to help them process and guide them through these newfound experiences and responsibilities to encourage personal development into who they desire to be so that they can experience an abundant life.
If you or your adult child is entering into college or already a college student in need of support to navigate this phase of life, please give us a call at (806) 780-0003 and request an appointment with Kat O’Keefe.
By: Kat O’Keefe