Students learn to transition into early adulthood


The transition from high school to college is a big one. You go from living in your parents’ house, following their rules and going to school seven hours per day, to living in a dorm with no parental supervision. All of a sudden you’re an adult.

Everyone who’s made that transition knows it can be difficult to acclimate to a new life in a new place. 

The Counseling Center hosted a workshop last week to give students ways to deal with this transition into early adulthood.

Cole Thornton, a counselor at the Counseling Center who hosted the meeting, mentioned transitioning into college will not look the same for everyone. Some students may have planned their lives out in childhood and pursued their dream. Others may feel unsure about what lies ahead in college and what they want to do for a career. 

Thornton recommended setting goals when transitioning into adulthood.

“Set realistic goals that are going to serve you and those that are within reach. Break it down to smaller goals that are specific and within reason,” Thornton said.

Thornton said one of the most important things to remember is to keep a check on your mental health.

He said college is often a time when mental health can decrease. He explained that during college many mental disorders such as anxiety and depression can appear because of the shift in lifestyle, responsibilities and expectations. 

“It’s really important that we take care of ourselves whenever we’re not doing so high, which is unfortunately the time when it is the hardest to take care of ourselves,” Thornton said.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have a diagnosable mental illness. 

Thornton suggested self-care as an option to prevent mental health issues from arising. Self-care can vary from buying an item from your Amazon wishlist to taking a hot bubble bath. It can also mean taking a mental break from school work or something you enjoy because it’s become exhausting.

“You need to treat yourself how you would treat others as well,” Thornton said. 

 Setting boundaries with family is important in transitioning into college life, according to Thornton. He said students must navigate who they are while still being attached to their family. Staying close to family while processing what you want to be helps make the transition easier.