Know When To Seek Counseling

depressionMost, if not all college campuses offer counseling services to offer aid to troubled students. Don’t’ be afraid to take advantage of this resource if you need it. You may be thinking that you’re not the type to need it. College brings an entire new level of stress, peer pressure, experiences, personalities, and opportunities that you may have never been exposed to in high school. Because of that, you may find yourself in situations where you are questioning your actions and your feelings. Have you lost control of your drinking and partying? Are you always sad? Are you having trouble focusing? Are you having trouble sleeping? Be aware and conscious of your actions and your feelings. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it.

If you’re embarrassed to talk about your issue or concern with a person in the counseling service, I can assure you that you have no reason to be. People who work in the counseling office have heard everything and anything there is to hear about issues in college. They are trained professionals and they aren’t going to look at your cross-eyed because the issue that you bring to them, they’ve probably heard hundreds of times before.

ULifeline – The online resource for college mental health — GET THE FACTS HERE

You Control How Much You Learn

College Student Studying in Library

One of the hardest things to do in college is making the effort to learn more. In high school you are told what to learn, what to study, what to memorize, what to write your paper about. You’re not in high school anymore. In college, how much you learn is up to you. How much do you want to learn? You can do just enough to get by or you can do more than is expected. Remember that knowledge is key and people pay for expertise. The more you know, the more you can do, the more people you will meet and the more money you can make.

There are a lot of opportunities for learning in college, often times outside the classroom. Think about the situations in life, thus far, that you have learned the most from? There is much more to college than a textbook. Take advantage of every opportunity you can.

You’ve Been Talking to Your New Roommate and You Already Don’t Like Them

RoommatesYou received your roommate assignment for freshman year. You’ve jumped on Facebook and sent a friend request, maybe sent a message or an e-mail. Thankfully you heard back from them quickly and started to talk. It all seemed great at first – you’re both excited about going to college, the conversation seems to be running smoothly and then the more you talk, the more you realize that this is probably the worst roommate match up of all time. You think, “I filled out the roommate survey online, did res life even look at it!?….There is no way we are going to work out as roommates.”

The more you look at their pictures online the more you realize how different you are from them. You can’t wait for the college nightlife and they said that they like to be in bed by 10:00pm every night. Or maybe, you’re that person who likes to be in bed early and your roommates Facebook is covered with pictures of drunken nights and posts about being so excited to go to college and get to their first frat party. You talk about having friends from come visit and they say they don’t like when random people sleep in their room. The issues go on and on and now you’re freaking out because you haven’t even started your freshman year and you are worried that you and your roommate are NOT going to get along.

Don’t jump to conclusions! Living with someone and talking to them face to face is very different than communicating through facebook and e-mail. People change in college, even after the first weekend! Your roommate is talking to you as a High School student, most likely living with their parents. As soon as you more in with them they will be talking to you as a college student. Your mind, your imagination, your worries, are your biggest challenges…. not him or her. You need to give it time. You need to change your mindset. You’ve heard the horror stories about awful roommates but have you heard about the roommates who were complete opposites and became the best of friends? It happens all the time. Don’t compare your roommate to your friends from home. I did this all the time and I think it hurt the potential for some great friendships. I thought I knew what ‘type’ of person would be a good fit as a friend however, it turned out that the best friend I made in college was the complete opposite of my friends from home.

If you have concerns, keep your communication minimal until you actually get to college and experience living in a dorm. Think about some of the ground rules you will want to set and when you get to college have this discussion with your roommate. If you are your roommate really don’t get along once school starts this is something you will discuss with your RA.

What is Summer Orientation?

summer_orientationI know – I am sorry! It’s been a while since I’ve been on the blogging world.  I’m back! I recently did a live webinar with CollegeWeekLIVE about summer orientation and I figured now would be a great time to get back to committing myself to the blog world and helping my high school and college followers. So what is summer orientation? It is your opportunity to interact with peers, faculty, and staff, in and outside the classroom. Orientation typically covers both academic and social events. It can be a one day event, a weekend event where you would stay overnight in the dorms or it may be an overnight program mid-week. You will:

  • Get separated into orientation groups. They are groups of freshman who will be led by upperclassman that are called orientation leaders. Your orientation leaders will be like you “camp counselor” throughout orientation and will keep you on schedule, bring you from event to event, and place to place.
  • Learn about campus resources and services that support academic and personal development.
  • Build your semester schedule
  • Take placement exams.
  • Understand how to lead healthy and sustainable lifestyles
  • Icebreakers with your orientation group
  • Attend social events to meet new students
  • Have fun!

THINGS TO DO

—  Be friendly

—  Embrace the awkward

—  Meet as many people as you can

—  Attend all events

—  Introduce yourself to a Professor!!! I am a huge fan of this!

—  Ask questions

—  Save the parties for later

THINGS NOT TO DO

—  Illegal activities

—  Close yourself off from meeting people

—  Be rude

—  Only talk to the same people

—  Text/call/use your phone

—  Let orientation ruin your experience

I hope you have a GREAT experience. However, remember that orientation is just one or two days and it should not reflect the next 4 years of your life. If you have a negative experience do not jump to conclusions. You need to give your college experience a chance.

New Years Resolutions for College Students

celebrating

 

New year, new you!  First off, sorry for being MIA for so long.  The Holiday’s got busy and the 8 day cruise my best friend and I treated ourselves too kept me away from my lovely laptop.  In fact that’s a new years resolution you should all consider – save up some extra $ and plan a getaway with friends for a long weekend during the semester.  Sunshine, a beach chair and a good book is a necessity for a hectic college lifestyle.  Now with a new year comes a new slate (kind of like starting freshman year).  In case you’re having trouble creating your own new years resolutions, I’ve jotted down some ideas that you are more than welcome to take.

1.  Get organized!  Throw out clothes, shoe’s, old notes, notebooks, old makeup, clean up your life!  The problem with cleaning out your room is that you pick up things you’ve never used or clothes you’ve never worn and say “i’m sure i’ll use this or wear this one time.”  Then sure enough nothing gets thrown out.  The trick here is to pick out the things you DO use and wear often FIRST, then with whatever is left over is stuff you probably don’t need.  Get rid of it.

2. Don’t procrastinate.  How many times have you heard this?  Probably enough to get you annoyed and procrastinate even more to make a point.  Yea, well don’t do that.  Get a big old fancy 2013 planner and use it.

3. Get good grades.  This may sound cheesy but write out your class schedule on a piece of paper and then next to each class put (loud and clear) what grade you want to get by the end of the semester.  Hang that piece of paper next to your desk so you can see it every day.  The power of writing down a goal is wonderful!

4. Build your resume and land a great summer internship!  It doesn’t matter what year you are, anyone is capable of being a successful intern.  Internqueen.com is a fantastic resource, you don’t want to miss out on great internships around the country and tips on how to land you dream internship.

Here’s to your best year yet!

 

‘Tis The Season

The Holiday’s are right around the corner.  Do you need a gift idea for your high school children, nieces, nephews, friends??  Make sure to grab a copy of my book “I Wish I Knew It Before Going To College”!  It’s an easy read and it’s full of great college topics.

21 Ways You Should Take Advantage Of Your 20s

Stumbled upon this list and I had to share it…. love things like this!!  (The article is by Sari Moon [don’t know her] and was retrieved from here! )

1. Don’t feel the need to respond to every text message, phone call, and email the second it reaches you. Once upon a time, it took longer than a minute to reach someone. People used stamps and envelopes; they had answering machines they didn’t check for hours, sometimes days. No one will die if you don’t immediately respond to every message you receive.

2. Ask for what’s owed to you. Half the time, you’re not getting your needs met because you’re not making them known. Your employers, romantic interests, and friends are not going to read your mind and give you what you need unless you speak up.

3. Never turn down an open bar. Seek them out and make them a priority. Indulging in open bars when you’re older isn’t appropriate because a) people will think you have an alcohol problem and b) you’re supposed to have enough money to afford your own alcohol.

4. If you’re unhappy and someone offers you a way out, take it. You don’t owe your first job years of loyalty and your first-born; you don’t have to stay in your city just because you’re on a first-name basis with the bodega guy. Do what feels right; the initial fear will give way to excitement.

5. Take advantage of all the energy you have in your 20s. In your 30s and 40s, your body starts getting upset with you, when some 20-something babe is all, “Wanna race?” That’s not a concern when you’re in your 20s — don’t ever take it for granted.

6. Let your more successful friends pick up the check this time. Before you’re 30, it’s still okay to be work as a barista and not have your career path figured out. Save your cash and take up your lawyer-friend’s offer for dinner. Use the money you saved to buy more ramen.

7. Play a sport you played in elementary school. Kickball, dodgeball. There are leagues for these games now. Get on it.

8. Learn how to cook. Here’s an idea — instead of spending all your money on ridiculously marked-up restaurant food, save your money by buying non-processed WHOLE FOODS and LEARNING HOW TO MAKE A MEAL OF REAL FOOD. A meal of real food is not a box of Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese — that’s PROCESSED FOOD. A meal is something like sauteed brussel sprouts with onions and pinto beans garnished with salt and pepper. You’ll thank yourself for learning how to cook when your metabolism catches up to you.

9. Keep making friends. Everyone complains that it’s hard to make friends after college, but we still manage to find new people to flirt with and date, right? It’s not that hard. You know yourself better than you ever have before, and your friends can finally reflect that. Don’t cling to old friends because it’s too frightening or ‘risky’ to make new ones.

10. Let your parents buy your plane ticket home. It can be trying to be stuck in a house with your family for a few days or a week, but vacations in your 20s can be hard to come by. Let them subsidize your trips home and do you as much as you can when you get there.

11. Stay up late. In your 20s, you’re all, “Let’s go to another bar!” “Who wants to eat at a diner?” “Have you guys seen the sun rise from the High Line?” “In this moment I swear we were infinite!” When you get older, this becomes, “What are you doing? Go home. Watch Parks and Rec and go to sleep. What is wrong with you, staying up all night? Who has time for that?” If you’re in your 20s, you do. You have all the time. Do it now and take advantage of how not tired you are. You think you’re crabby now when you stay up too late? You’ll never believe how terrible you feel when you do it in your 30s.

12. Savor those 20s hangovers. They are a gift from God so that you’ll always remember what your tolerance level is. Your hangover recovery time is like flippin’ Wolverine in your 20s. You wake up, feel like death, pull on some shades, gulp down coffee or maybe a bloody Mary and whine about your headache over brunch. Oh, boo hoo. When you’re older, every hangover is Apocalypse Freaking Now. You’re not making it to brunch. You’re not making it off your floor in a weeping puddle of regret.

13. Indulge in diner/ fast food at 4 a.m. This is considered depressing behavior once you become a real adult.

14. STOP PROCRASTINATING YOUR TRIP ABROAD. YOUR CHANCES OF TAKING A LONG VACATION ABROAD DIMINISH AS YOU BECOME MORE SET IN YOUR WAYS AND AS YOU GAIN MORE RESPONSIBILITY.

15. Do ‘unacceptable’ things to your hair. Dye it. Dread it. Shave only the left side of your head and give a crap if it grows back in a flattering manner (hint: it won’t). There’s no time but now.

16. Avoid Burning Man. Save it for your weird-Dad mid-life crisis.

17. Sit down, unplug, and read non-fiction. Do this daily. None of your peers are doing it. They’re playing video games and refreshing Facebook and Gmail chatting about nothing in particular. After a month you’ll be smarter than all of them.

18. Walk into Forever 21 and grab every single crappily-made floral dress available. Is every other girl on the street wearing it? Is it literally falling apart at the seams? Is it also actually five dollars? BUY IT IMMEDIATELY. When you get older, your clothing becomes all expensive blazers and tailored khakis and other pieces that won’t break while on your body. That will be a great day — the day when your closet starts to look respectable. Though those outfits are more expensive, they also last longer and look better on you. You will be a classy human ready to take on the future. But as long as you’re still in your 20s? You know — the demographic of Forever 21? Game on, stretchy black dress with pockets that lasts about a week. Game on.

19. Take road trips. Sitting in a car for days on end isn’t something your body was designed to do forever.

20. Don’t invest in things like window curtains or throw rugs or… Windex. You’re a young, social person who doesn’t have time for things like picture-framing and broom-sweeping. No one actually expects you to maintain a bed skirt or a duvet cover in your 20s, they’re the home decor equivalent of puppies/ children.

21. Go to/host theme parties. Once people age out of their 20s, no one’s trying to wear pajamas or Saran Wrap out of the house. The only theme parties that exist after your 20s are ‘Wedding,’ ‘Baby Shower,’ and ‘Funeral.’

Teen Vogue – How to Make the Most of Your Time with Your Parents During Winter Break

It can be challenging to adjust to living under  your mom and dad’s roof and rules after you’ve been on your own at college. We  consulted the experts on how you can seamlessly transition to being back at home  during your winter break.

Initiate a conversation with your family. Instead of proclaiming  that you’re now an independent woman, show it through your actions. “I think the  biggest challenge is that college students are moving forward with their lives,”  says Gabbriel Simone, author of I Wish I Knew It Before Going to College (Morgan  James Publishing). “When they come back home, they can at times revert back to  feeling like they’re in high school and act immaturely. Rather than getting  upset, initiate a conversation with your parents.” By being proactive, you’ll  demonstrate your maturity.

Remember that this is hard for your parents too. If you’re  returning home after your freshman year, it’s only been a few months since you  left home. You’ve changed a lot in a short time span, but your parents think of  you as the same doe-eyed high school graduate you were when you left. “Before  you say anything, it’s important to try and put yourself in the shoes of you  parents,” says Rachel Simmons, Teen Vogue blogger and author of Odd Girl Out (Mariner Books). “Realize that a few  months may feel like forever to you, but they still see you as their little  girl. Try to emphasize and realize that most of the time, they’re worrying out  of love.”

Compromise. Your values may have changed while you’ve been inside  the college bubble, where the social norms are different than in the outside  world. If your parents aren’t keen on a later curfew (or none at all), offer to  call home and check in throughout the night. “When it’s time to talk, it’s  important to tell your parents that you want to come to a compromise and that  you need them to acknowledge that you’ve been living a different kind of life at  college,” says Simmons. “I don’t think that it’s fair to expect that you’ll get  everything you want in any kind of negotiation. Anyone thinking that restrictive  parents are going to suddenly become totally permissive is probably setting  themselves up for real disappointment.”

Prioritize privileges that matter most to you. If you present your  parents with clear, reasonable requests, they’ll listen and take you seriously.  “Decide ahead of time which privileges they might be willing to give up and  decide what really matters to you,” says Simmons. “If curfew really matters,  know that ahead of time. If drinking alcohol or sleeping in the same bed as your  significant other doesn’t, be ready to give that up.”

Be respectful. Screaming, stomping, and cursing will not get you  what you want; it’ll get you grounded. Even if you’re still in the throws of  your teenage rebellion, mind your manners. “Independence may feel total when  you’re in college, but the reality is that it’s only partial,” reminds Simmons.  “As long as you’re living under your parents’ roof, and especially if they’re  paying for your education, you do owe them some respect. I remember I got my  nose pierced my sophomore year and then I came home for Thanksgiving. My mom had  told me, ‘You can do anything you want, just don’t pierce your nose,’ but I went  and pierced it when I was on a trip with my friends. I came home for  Thanksgiving and my mother wouldn’t let me in the house.”

Use the time to reflect and relax. If your parents ask you to  adhere to strict rules, don’t think of it as torture. Use your time home to  detox from college; rest and relax. “I don’t think that students take enough  time to appreciate the quietness of home,” says Simone. “It’s something that you  don’t get in college.” Keep in mind that you’ll be back on campus in a few short  weeks, and appreciate your parents for more than the fact that they do your  laundry when you’re visiting home. Come second semester, you may just miss your  folks.

Read More http://www.teenvogue.com/advice/family-advice/2011-12/living-at-home-during-college-break#ixzz2DiQLwHbU

Recharge for Finals

The semester is almost over.  It’s easy to blame your exhaustion on the stress of finals, the end of the semester, the papers and the projects.  Psych yourself out.  Recharge your brain.  Be a spark in the classroom.  Be intellectually curious.  Ask questions that everyone wants to know or has in mind.  Stay after class to clarify something with the professor.  Make sure they know you.  Be thorough and be committed to your academics.  Get through it and own it.