Counseling for College Students
The college experience can be quite jarring for students, newcomers and senior students alike. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you – of course it can be challenging to go into a new academic environment and succeed, especially when life is throwing other responsibilities your way.
It might feel like too much to handle, or you might need some help to lighten the load. That is where counseling for college students can make a tremendous difference.
Anxiety is Common in College Students
About 11.9% of college students, both traditional and non-traditional, are diagnosed with some kind of anxiety disorder. This doesn’t account for the unknown number of students who experience anxiety symptoms but proceed through their academic careers without a proper diagnosis.
Anxiety manifests itself in many ways, from subtle behavioral changes to substance abuse. College students are not immune to these problematic means of coping with what they might feel is just a “normal” and “expected” part of being a student. After all, college life is a lot of pressure, right?
Sure, it is, but anxiety is serious. Persistent and ongoing anxiety can lead to a slew of physical and mental health problems that could hinder a student’s success and overall well-being. Counseling is a valuable tool, often afforded to students by the college they attend, to help them manage the anxiety they’re experiencing before it spirals out of control.
Counselors help by exploring fears and other common sources of anxiety and develop plans of action with their patients to move forward as confidently as possible. A counselor will teach students these tools, which can be applied in their personal and professional life far beyond their college years.
Students Often Need Help in Making Critical Degree Program Decisions
It’s not uncommon for students to have complicated feelings about their chosen degree program. Many times, students will change their program of focus at least once. This can be a tremendous source of worry, however, as it can be expensive and emotionally taxing to change degree programs – especially if the student has already progressed quite far.
A counselor can help a student to best understand their motivations for entering their chosen degree program. Many students make these decisions based on the input of others, perhaps pressure from family or internalized pressure to succeed at a degree program with a very high earning potential.
Additionally, counselors may help students to re-examine their priorities and make different decisions that will help them to obtain the happy future that they desire. They also encourage students to thrive, whatever that may mean on the student’s terms.
Life Doesn’t Stop When College Starts
Life can throw a lot of stuff at a person. Add college responsibilities on top of that, and it’s not hard to see how a person can become overwhelmed. Just because a student has entered college, that doesn’t mean that the rest of life has been put on pause. Students deal with the same strains, emergencies and stresses that non-students do, including:
Family health emergencies
The list goes on, but anything that a person can deal with outside of college can happen while they are still in college. A counselor can help a student burdened with these problems and worries to manage their emotions and their situation in a healthy, constructive manner.
College is an exciting time, but it is one that involves a lot of transition and change from the routine. It’s not at all unusual for students of the traditional and non-traditional varieties to struggle at some point during their academic pursuits.
If you are a student who’s feeling the strain of life in and outside of college, it can’t hurt to consider getting the help of a counselor.
Call Dr. Clare Albright, Psy.D., Psychologist CA License PSY11660 at (949)454-0996 at