College Student Transitional Issues

I often work with college students who have a difficult time transitioning to the workload, social aspect and emotional difficulties of being out of the home. Going off to college or leaving home for the first time can be complicated. Many young adults struggle to make the adjustment and need help. Those who make it to my office often have a family member urging them to get help, or they have realized that they need help an are proactive enough to get it (although this is more rare). I work with these clients to develop independent living skills so that they can function at work, school and with their friends, while maintaining a good connection with family at home. One of the reasons the struggle is that they haven’t had a chance to go out on their own yet. It seems ironic, because now that they are out on their own, its too much for them. Don’t worry – this is normal. Its ok to have a difficult time in this transition. However, its important to note several milestones as they progress:

  • Financial – are they able to financially manage their money without parents overseeing it all?
  • Social – are they able to balance their social life with work and school? Do they have a social life or are they secluded in their apartment”
  • Scholastic – are they able to meet the demands of school and ask for help when needed?
  • Work – are they working and are they able to maintain a job while engaged in the rest of their life?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these, they might need help. See out a therapist who knows how to help young people transition here.

By Triston Morgan, PhD, LMFT

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