Many states are in a time of flux due to Covid-19, students, parents, teachers, and administrators of college campuses are asked to be dynamic. This expectation of constant change can be hard for college students, who were taught throughout grade school to keep a routine and consistency. Furthermore, students are asked to adjust what it means to have a college experience.

4 Skills to Adapt to The New College Experience:

 

Four Skills college students can use to adapt to the new college experience?

  1.  Create A Routine In Order To Adapt To The New College Experience

Creating a routine can create a sense of consistency and predictability. Think back to those K-12 days, (probably not too long ago) there were lots of routines! It can be helpful to plot out your classes and homework tasks; with meals and break scheduled in. Consistency can also come at both the start and end of our days by creating morning and night routines. Think about finding ways to ease yourself into the day and into sleep. 

  1.   Reach Out In Order To Adapt To The New College Experience

Be intentional about reaching out. The traditional opportunities to run into someone in the hallway, have a conversation before class starts, or stay after class is no longer there. If you have questions, reach out to your instructors and/or classmates; there is a good chance that if you have a question others in your class do too. Remember to schedule in time to have social distancing meetings with friends and family members. Staying connected to your support network can be a great way to take a break from studying.   

  1.     Move!

Taking movement breaks can help our body refocus. Stagnant and sedentary lifestyles could easily become the norm if we are working on a computer in the same place throughout the day. Be sure to schedule in short 5 to 10-minute breaks to move. This may take some creativity depending on if you are able to leave your room or not, but even a quick stretch or dance in place can get the blood flowing and give the mind an active break.


  1.     Make A Gratitude List!

Using gratitude to practice focusing on the things that you have. Acknowledging the things we have can be challenging in a time when we feel things are being taken away from us or limited. Practicing mindfulness, through creating a list of things you are grateful for, can help you redirect your energy to the things you can nurture in our life

I listened to the NPR, On Point Podcast, What To Know About College Reopening In A Pandemic, and I was struck by the realization that first-year college students and their families, were not able to have a traditional high school graduation ceremony and are now experiencing non-traditional starts to their college experiences. For college students of today, they were told all their lives that if they work hard, they will get the college experience of those before them…. and now they are often home, or stuck in a dorm attending college classes virtually. It’s not the experience that any of us were expecting.

Help is available In Order To Adapt To The New College Experience

Please know that if you are struggling, there is support. If you are in the Western New York area and are in crisis, please know that there is a Crisis Services, 24 hours support line with paraprofessionals that you can reach by calling 716-834-3131. Within the United States, there are also 24-hour support services through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or you can chat through this website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/. Also, for those more comfortable with texting and/ or located outside of the USA, you can connect with a Crisis Counselor through the crisis text line, https://www.crisistextline.org/.

If you are a college student living in Western New York, who is in need of developing a plan to get back on track and are interested in starting psychotherapy, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation. If you are outside of Western New York, you can start with contacting your college or university’s counseling center, psychological services center, and/ or wellness office. 

Clara Kuntz, Ph.D.