You pictured the freedom and ease of making all your own decisions without anyone being the ‘boss of you’.
You’ve looked forward to picking out all your own classes and imagined forming life-long friendships.
The new opportunities to get involved in sports, clubs, greek life, the arts, social justice, or politics seemed exciting.
Becoming a College Student Can Be Overwhelming
Often, when a college student comes to our counseling center they are worried about their privacy. Especially if their parents are paying for their education and/or therapy. At New Connections Counseling Center in Baltimore, MD, our therapists are skilled at navigating this tricky situation. We will always respect your right to have confidential counseling while also recognizing that your parents can be an asset during therapy.
Common Challenges College Students Have
Every college student faces their own unique challenges and struggles. Therefore, the things that you find difficult about college is likely different than what your friends and roommates are struggling with. But, these are some of the most common things many college students struggle with:
Making Friends in College
Making friends in college is different than in high school. It can be particularly challenging for students who are introverted, shy, or anxious in social situations. We frequently hear students discuss the difficulties of making friends as a person of color, socializing in ways that don’t involve alcohol, and finding like-minded people on a diverse campus.
In therapy, we can strategize ways to connect you with other students who share your interests or ideals. Also, we will discuss how to let your guard down so you can form strong relationships.
Sex, Sexuality and Sexual Orientation
College is a time when young adults are figuring out who they are. Part of that may be exploring their sexuality. Our therapists create a non-judgmental space where you can feel comfortable talking about sex. The role of therapy isn’t to teach a particular set of values. We will help you understand your feelings related to sex and attraction. When you identify what you need in order for sex to feel safe and fun, you are better equipped to make good decisions for yourself. Ultimately, we will provide you with support while you form your own set of sexual values.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community in college, you may be looking for support. Our caring therapists are here to listen, support you during the “coming out” process, or help you cope with intolerant beliefs or attitudes.
Rape and Sexual Assault on College Campuses
If you have survived sexual assault, it is important that you seek support to begin the healing process. We provide a trusting relationship where you can discuss what happened and will always be believed. The therapists at New Connections Counseling Center specialize in treating survivors of sexual assault. We are trained to help and support you through the healing process so you can regain control over your life.
College Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Generally, college is a place where drugs and alcohol are easily accessible. Many students report the pressure to use or abuse substances is intense. As much as most parents would prefer their children not indulge at all, many young people do. We want you to feel safe discussing substance use with us. Therefore we will provide you with a non-judgemental place to talk about the pressure or urges you are having. Then we will discuss the consequences of substance use or abuse and other choices you could make. If you decide to partake in drinking or drug use, we will discuss ways in which you can make safer choices.
If you have found yourself abusing drugs and alcohol in a way that interferes with your life, then we can help. We offer specialized treatment for alcohol abuse to help you cut down or stop drinking altogether.
Academic Pressure and Career Choices
Maybe, your family has certain expectations regarding the major you declare or the career you are pursuing. Uncertainty about the future can be very anxiety-provoking if you’re approaching graduation. Unfortunately, this anxiety often gets in the way of career exploration and decision-making. Managing expectations, pressure, and anxiety so you can thrive is often the focus of counseling.
Depression and Anxiety
College is a time when students often experience struggles with depression and anxiety for the first time. Maybe college didn’t live up to your expectations or you are struggling to get good grades and make new friends. These things can cause you to experience symptoms of anxiety or depression. These symptoms may make it hard for you to function. Therapy can help you learn new skills to cope with the things that are causing you stress or sadness.
Social and Economic Justice
Anxiety about money comes in many forms. In high school, differences in wealth may not have been as obvious as they are now. On college campuses, income disparities can be quite wide and may leave you feeling like you don’t have enough. Keeping up with your peers’ spending habits can be a source of stress.
Maybe you are very worried about how you will pay off your student loans. Or you may feel guilty for burdening your parents with paying for school. This is common. You might feel uncomfortable discussing money or financial responsibility with your peers.
First-Generation College Students
First-generation students face unique challenges. Learning the jargon involved with higher education and can be confusing. Navigating these issues for the first time can cause stress for the whole family. Sometimes, first-generation college students can feel like they don’t fit in on-campus or at home.
Exploration of Beliefs, Values, and Spirituality
The Advantages of Seeing an Off-Campus Therapist
Choice of Therapists
The New Connections Approach to Therapy for College Students
Although we provide a very individualized approach to helping our clients, we generally use some combination of the following types of therapy:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for College Students
Supportive Therapy for College Students
Psychodynamic / Interpersonal Therapy for College Students
Therapy Can Help College Students Succeed and Find Happiness
Ultimately, therapy helps you identify new sources of meaning and purpose in your life. Change is part of life. You have probably gone through many life transitions already. It’s important to recognize your past is the foundation of who you are today, and parts of your past will always remain dear to you. Embrace that reality and look ahead to the future with a focus on the positive. It’s true that you will experience stress, and that’s ok. Not fun, but ok. Therapy can help you adjust to the changes in your life so you can enjoy your life to the fullest. And make decisions that are best for you.
Begin Counseling for College Students in Baltimore, MD
Follow these simple steps to begin counseling for college students at our counseling center in Baltimore, MD.
OTHER MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES OFFERED AT NEW CONNECTIONS COUNSELING CENTER
In addition to therapy for college students, our Baltimore counselors provide a variety of mental health services at our counseling center in Baltimore, MD. Ultimately, our goal is not only to help you feel better but help you live better. Therefore, our services include therapy for depression, anxiety treatment, counseling for grief and loss, alcohol abuse treatment, counseling for life transitions, individual counseling for relationship issues, therapy for survivors of sexual assault, men’s therapy, and therapy for women. Call our Baltimore counseling clinic today to learn more about our counseling services and the many ways we can help you lead a more fulfilling life.
Blog posts for College Students
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