Common College Issues

Common College Issues

Anxiety

Depression

Homesickness

Relationships

Roommates 101

Sleep

Steps for Success in College

Substance Abuse

Anxiety

What are the affects of anxiety?

  • Physiological (rapid heartbeat, dryness of mouth, muscle tension, sweatiness, queasiness)
  • Behavioral (change in sleep or eating habits, argumentative, inability to focus)
  • Psychological (apprehension & uneasiness to the point that you feel detached or fearful of dying or going crazy, increased emotionality)

Anxiety or Panic Attack

  • Intense periods of fear or feelings of doom developing over a very short time frame -- up to 10 minutes -- and associated with at least four of the following:
    • Sudden overwhelming fear
    • Palpitations
    • Sweating
    • Trembling
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sense of choking
    • Chest Pain
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • A feeling of being detached from the world (derealization)
    • Fear of dying
    • Numbness or tingling in the limbs or entire body
    • Chills or hot flushes

What can I do for anxiety?

  • Relaxation techniques (body & mind)
  • Simplify
  • Exercise
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Diet ( ↓ caffeine & sugar intake)
  • Listen to music
  • Do your best instead of trying to be perfect
  • Accept that you cannot control everything

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Depression

Why would anyone get depressed in college?

  • Dealing with loss of familiar
  • Homesickness
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Handling greater academic demands
  • Negotiating a new social network & new environment
  • Relationship issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Exposure to new people, ideas, & temptations
  • Uncertainty about the future
  • Awareness of sexual identity & orientation
  • Financial responsibility
  • Access to alcohol and other drugs
  • Sexual assault
  • Dorm & friendship “drama”

Symptoms of depression:

  • Hopeless
  • Helpless
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep
  • Crying spells
  • No motivation
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Unable to focus
  • Unintentional weight gain or loss
  • Suicidal ideation or behaviors

  

What can I do if I feel depressed?

  • Call or drop in at the Counseling Center
  • Carefully plan your day, work, & sleep schedules
  • Participate in extracurricular activities
  • Seek support from other people
  • Eat breakfast
  • Try relaxation methods (meditation, yoga)
  • Exercise & spend time outdoors
  • Take time for yourself every day
  • Take one day, hour, class, or activity at a time
  • Don’t binge drink (alcohol is a depressant)
  • Journal

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Homesickness

  • Keep in touch
  • Get involved
  • Stay busy
  • Admit you are homesick – it is natural & common
  • Remember most other students are feeling the same way, they just might not mention it
  • Talk about it with an older sibling or friend
  • Put family or pet photos on your bulletin board
  • Familiarize yourself with the campus & invite other freshmen to explore with you
  • Get enough sleep & eat healthy food on a regular basis
  • Avoid alcohol & drug use
  • Plan a date to go home & make arrangements
  • Set up e-mail & texting connections at home
  • Get involved with a student activity or club
  • Give yourself time to adjust

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Relationships

Ingredients of a healthy relationship:

  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Communication

           Early warning signs of dating violence by a partner:

  • extreme jealousy
  • possessiveness
  • low self-esteem
  • unpredictable mood swings
  • explosive anger
  • alcohol & drug use
  • isolates you from friends & family
  • humiliates & criticizes you in front of others
  • tells you that you are stupid, lazy, ugly, fat, inadequate
  • threatens to hurt you or themselves if you break up with them
  • make excuses for or blames you for their behavior
  • ignores your feelings
  • criticizes your beliefs
  • verbal abuse
  • use of any force during an argument

Warning signs that a friend might be in an abusive relationship:

  • their partner calls them names & humiliates them down in front of others
  • their partner acts extremely possessive
  • their partner is always checking up on them
  • your friend often apologizes for their partner
  • your friend is often worried about upsetting their partner
  • your friend has marks, bruises, or injuries they can't or won't explain
  • your friend's weight, grades, or appearance has changed dramatically
  • your friend cancels plans at the last minute, with explanations that don't seem truthful
  • your friend doesn't spend time with family & friends like they used to, and seem more isolated

             

If you are being abused:

  • you are not alone         
  • it is not your fault
  • talk with someone - a friend, a family member, a professor, someone at the Counseling Center, your Coach

If someone you know is being abused:

  • listen
  • show support
  • don't blame the victim
  • tell your friend you're worried about them
  • emphasize that:
    • abuse in a relationship is never acceptable
    • despite promises, the violence is likely to continue & to escalate
  • encourage your friend to seek help
    • tell your RA
    • encourage them to go to the Counseling Center
    • call 1-800-FYI-CALL for ideas on how to help (The National Center for Victims of Crime)
  • avoid confronting the abuser (this could be dangerous)
  • if friend is in immediate danger, call Security on campus or 911

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Roommates 101

  • Establish rules from the very beginning
  • Communication is the key - in person, not by texting or e-mail
  • Compromise
  • Be flexible
  • Discuss & decide about:
    1. comings & goings
    2. room guests
    3. borrowing things
    4. personal property
    5. taking messages
    6. smoking & drinking
    7. quiet vs. noisy
    8. sharing food
    9. clean vs. messy
    10. privacy
    11. expectations
    12. personal space
    13. handling disagreements

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Sleep

Tips for a healthy night's sleep:

  • avoid naps during the day
  • keep the temperature in your room cool
  • try to keep to a fixed go-to-sleep and get-up time each day
  • refrain from exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime
  • block out unnecessary noise
  • use comfortable bedding
  • avoid bright lights in your bedroom
  • relaxation techniques (yoga, meditation, guided imagery)
  • aromatherapy (lavender works well)
  • get up if you can't sleep after 15 - 20 minutes; do something non-stimulating (read, take a bath), then try to go back to sleep
  • avoid the following 4 - 6 hours before bedtime:
    • nicotine
    • caffeine
    • heavy, spicy, sugary foods
    • energy drinks

 

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Steps for Success in College 

      

  • go to all orientation programs
  • get to know your roommate & others on your floor
  • get organized
  • find a good place to study
  • go to class!
  • meet with your professors during their scheduled office hours
  • get to know your academic advisor
  • get involved on campus
  • take responsibility for you and your actions
  • work toward good grades
  • stay healthy - eat right - get enough sleep
  • stay on campus more than you go home
  • seek a balance between your academic & social life on campus
  • be ready to feel overwhelmed
  • seek professional help when you need it

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Substance Abuse

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning:

  • irregular breathing or breathing less than 10 times per minute
  • cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
  • vomiting without waking up
  • cannot be awakened by pinching, prodding, or shouting

What to do for someone with alcohol poisoning:

  • do not leave an unconscious person alone
  • if the person is lying down, roll the person over onto their side to prevent choking if  vomiting
  • call Res Life, Security, or 911 to get help for what can potentially be a dangerous medical emergency

                   

Alcohol Violations & their effect on your employment after graduation:

General Info on Pennsylvania Law states that the consumption of alcohol by a minor,  supplying alcohol to a minor, or a DUI can have far-reaching consequences, potentially:

  1. possible denial of a professional license to practice in your chosen profession
  2. a criminal conviction for violation of state statutes
  3. a permanent record, even if acquittals occur
  4. loss of driver's license, treatment costs, fines and/or jail time
  5. denial or revocation of professional license
  6. if a student is convicted of or is incarcerated due to an alcohol violation, that student may not be eligible for state or federal student aid

Don't let the choice of using alcohol interfere with your dreams!

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