Big Transitions. What I learned About Myself…

college transitions
Photo by Ashley Rich on Unsplash

by, Amanda Briskin

(Synergy eTherapy Fall/Winter Intern. UW- Madison College Student. Future Therapist. )

College transition. Ufta.

If you are like many high school students, fall/wintertime is THE time to go travel and visit college campuses to see what life has to offer post high school.

At Synergy eTherapy, we are super lucky to have 2 amazing college interns who have made the transition (and arguably, will be continuing to make this transition throughout their 4+ years!) and can shed some light onto the subject. Choosing a college is hard, but actually moving away (or not) and starting college is one of the biggest life transitions for a young adult.

Please welcome the first blog post from our fall/winter intern: Amanda Briskin!


Most college students know that it’s not always easy transitioning from the comforts of home to a new living environment at school. The idea of moving my entire life back to the state of Wisconsin from San Francisco was daunting for me, especially after getting so comfortable spending my summer in my hometown.

I transitioned from living in a house to an apartment with three other girls. I’ve never lived on my own in the sense that I have the responsibility to cook, clean, pay my own rent, and all of the other tasks that come along with being an official “apartment owner.”

I learned a lot from the experience and moving across the country into a completely different environment prompted a lot of self-reflection. I realized a lot of things about myself and more importantly, tried to pinpoint strategies for myself to relieve the stress and chaos that comes with big transitions.

Lessons.

I’ve spent the last few years working on myself to become more confident mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I need time for myself.

The first thing I learned is that taking time alone is necessary to maintain a positive mental attitude. I made sure that for at least a short period of time during each day, I would close my bedroom door and let myself just be, which can sometimes be challenging when life at college moves so fast. Taking time to simply reflect, check in with myself, and reset if I felt like I needed it helped me in adjusting to big changes in my life.

Taking care of my body is essential.

Moving is exhausting and starting a new school year can be overwhelming. Traveling across the country to move by myself was an added layer of stress that I knew would challenge me.

Quickly upon arriving back in Madison, I realized my body felt off. After an extended period of time of feeling like I wasn’t my normal self, I called my doctor who comforted me by letting me know that all these strange feelings I was having were completely normal, and in fact they were pretty common when going through a big transition.

I realized that carving out time in the day to take a short nap, lay in my bed for a few minutes, take a hot shower or just let myself be lazy on the couch for a few hours benefited me much more than pushing through when I knew I needed a break.

Turning to people in my life that support and empower me.

This one might sound cliché or redundant, but during this big transition, I realized that turning to the people in my life who I can count on to give me words of advice or even just listen when I needed an ear calmed me down and gave me a sense of comfort.

For me, this meant calling my parents every so often to hear their voices, or turning to my roommates when I arrived home after a long day. Hearing the simplest words of affirmation from important people in my life- “it will all get done, it always does,” empowered me and assured me that I am capable of adjusting to a big transition.


Regardless of whatever big transition you may be going through, the most important lesson I learned during mine was to check in with myself periodically to maintain my mental health, and ultimately stay sane during times that I felt like I was going insane.

Asking myself, what do I need, who can help me, how can I be successful, helped me prioritize and realize that adjustments take time and changes can be overwhelming, but self-awareness and self-care are imperative to making the transition as smooth as possible. If you are, or know of, a college-student who could use some extra support, online counseling for college students with Synergy eTherapy could be a perfect fit!

 

Amanda Briskin
Amanda Briskin is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Social Work. Originally from San Francisco, Amanda became interested in social work during high school when she began working with various non-profits. She’s excited to be working with Synergy  eTherapy to educate college students about online counseling and promote mental health awareness! 

 

Synergy eTherapy is a tele-mental health group therapy practice helping all moms access the care that they deserve. All sessions are by phone and video from the comfort of your home or surroundings. Please visit our HOME page for more info.

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