Emotionally Supporting Your Students Throughout College
WHERE BUSINESS MEETS FASHION
Who We Are The Office of Counseling & Wellness Services is Located in Maxwell Hall (216 E 45th Street), on the 14th Floor: • Jodi N. Licht, Psy.D.; Director of Counseling & Wellness Services, LIM College; 646-218-2186, ext. 229, [email protected]
• Kelly Dearborn, MSEd.; Disability Services Specialist/Counselor, LIM College; 646-218-6046, ext. 314 [email protected]
• William Kellogg, Counseling & Wellness Services Assistant, LIM College; 646-218-6048, ext. 315, [email protected]
• Gabriel Sirkman, Counseling & Wellness Services Intern, LIM College; 646-218-6047, ext. 407, [email protected]
What We Do Counseling & Wellness Services offers the following free and confidential psychological and educational services: • • • •
Counseling Services Consultation Disabilities advocacy Outreach & Wellness Workshops
Counseling Services • • • •
Individual therapy Crisis intervention/support Group therapy (based on need) Referrals to therapists, agencies, or specialized services (e.g. for eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, psychiatric care, etc.)
Disabilities Advocacy By law, all students, with or without disabilities, are entitled to equal access to all of the programs and activities at LIM College. Any questions about disability services, the required documentation needed to verify a disability or condition, academic accommodations, or accessibility, please contact our office. We have a full-time Disability Services Specialist.
Outreach and Workshops
• • • •
Throughout the year, we also provide regular outreach and workshops to promote healthy living, skill development and a sense of community. Some examples of different mental health topics that could be covered are: Time and Stress Management Body Image and Nutrition And, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness We also currently sponsor bi-weekly Yoga Classes in our Residence Hall, which are open to all enrolled students at LIM College, whether or not you reside in our housing.
Understanding the Developmental Period • College is a particularly challenging period when students are faced with many tasks - sorting out one’s identity, developing and maintaining significant relationships, working on changing relationships with parents and other family members, coping with losses, becoming aware of one’s unique and different-ness, and, facing new academic demands and career decisions.
What to Expect In addition to academic and professional development, college is also likely a period of: •Intellectual stimulation and growth •Increased autonomy •Self exploration and discovery •Social involvement •Forming new identities •Clarifying values and beliefs Every student experiences his or her own unique set of challenges and adjustments, just as every parent will have different expectations for and reactions to their student’s college experience.
What to Expect • Many times students are able to meet life’s challenges and deal with them on their own. However, sometimes students are faced with an issue that requires them to reach out to others for help. • Sometimes it can be helpful to students to enlist the support of a trained professional.
Some Common Challenges for Students During College • Academic coursework can be more challenging than previous education experiences • Balancing socializing and work (internships and/or jobs) and effectively managing time • Fitting in • Homesickness • Relationship difficulties • Managing finances and other responsibilities (possibly for the first time)
What Parents May Experience The college experience is a significant transition for parents as well as their student. As parents, you may experience feelings of: • • • • •
Happiness Excitement Pride Sadness and pain Fear and concern about your child’s safety, well-being, and future
Challenges For Parents • Feeling a Void: Feelings of emptiness can occur during the separation from your student. Parents can often feel unprepared or uncomfortable without their role as primary caretaker. Joy can be mixed with sadness as your student spends less time at home. • Feeling Left Out: Adjusting to being on the outside and being less privy to every aspect of your student’s life and whereabouts. Keep in mind your student may not want to share everything with you – this is normal. • Relinquishing Control: It is necessary to give up some parental control. Young adults must learn to make their own decisions and become their own self-advocates. Allow for mistakes. Parents must encourage and accept the student's ability to make independent decisions. Both the college student and the parents must realize mistakes will be made along the way - it's part of life. Learning from mistakes is another type of learning.
How You Can Support Yourself • Recognize that it is normal to have mixed feelings when your student leaves home. Feelings of pain and loss often accompany separation from loved ones. It is also normal to feel a sense of relief when your student leaves for college and to look forward to some time alone, with your significant other, or with younger children. Taking on a new project or hobby or reawakening old hobbies or activities can be an excellent way to channel your energy and feelings. • Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions arise during this period of adjustment. • Develop and maintain your own support systems.
How You Can Support Your Student • Expect Up and Downs. One minute college students are the models of independence, the next they call in tears. This back and forth is natural and expected, as both students and parents become more comfortable and confident in the ability of students to handle situations on their own. • Stay connected to your student while also encouraging them to get to know other students and meet new people. • Know the warning signs and educate yourself about the warning signs of distress (Feel free to contact Counseling & Wellness Services for information about warning signs). If you begin to notice these signs or sense that something is wrong, don’t panic. Start a dialogue with your student and encourage them to reach out for additional support. Counseling & Wellness Services are available for consultation for both you and your student.
How You Can Support Your Student (Cont’d)
• Maintaining a supportive relationship with your student can be critical to their success in college, particularly during their first year. It is important for your student to know that you are there for them and available to talk about issues which arise. • Ideally, discussions about values, which have occurred throughout your student’s life, serve as a foundation. However, it is useful to rediscuss specific issues, since college students are usually confronted with situations involving sex, drugs, and alcohol as well as tough academic and interpersonal issues. Without moralizing or criticizing, even young adults benefit from hearing their parents' views on these issues. • Maintain regular contact with your student, but also allow for space for your student to approach you and set the agenda for some of your conversations. A balance of advice, encouragement, independence, and room to make mistakes can be important in conveying your support and respect.
How You Can Promote Your Student’s Success • Be realistic about your student’s academic performance, recognizing that not every straight-A student in high school will be a straight-A student in college. Help your student set academic goals; encourage them to do their best and seek assistance if needed. • Find out contact information for people involved in various aspects of your student’s college experience. These people may include academic advisors and deans, financial aid counselors, and residence hall staff. If you have questions, or if a particular problem arises, you can call the appropriate person, but make sure to involve your student in a collaborative effort to address the problem.
• Encourage your student to get involved in student organizations, and campus events. LIM College’s Office of Student Life provides many events and activities that support and enhance the classroom experience.
Contact Information The Office of Student Life s is Located in Fifth Avenue (545 Fifth Avenue), on the 7th Floor: • Michael Palladino; Director of Student Life, LIM College; 646388-8419, ext. 279, [email protected]
• Vanessa Iaffa; Coordinator for FYE and Study Abroad, LIM College; 646-288-8431, ext. [email protected]
• M.T. Teloki, Senior Coordinator of Student Leadership and Development, LIM College; 646-388-8425, ext. 240, [email protected]
• Sabrina Williams; Student Life Assistant, LIM College; 646-3888403, ext. 373, [email protected]
Resources • College Parents of America: www.collegeparents.org • Raskin, R. (2006), Parents’ Guide to College Life. New York: Random House • Coburn, K.L. and Treeger, M.L. (2003). Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years. New York: Harper Collins. ** Adapted from The George Washington University’s Counseling Center