How to Help a Friend: Adjusting to CU-Boulder

first_img Published: Oct. 14, 2014 Welcome to the second issue of How to Help a Friend (HHF). HHF aims to provide students with information and resources on a variety of mental health topics, and to interact with and support the CU-Boulder community through monthly events and articles in CU-Boulder Today.Adjustment is a universal process that happens whenever there is a big change in our lives. For many new students (and even returning ones) this means adapting to a new environment with a new set of demands and challenges. This is a process of trial and error, requiring us to learn by experience and from other people.Just as important as defining adjustment is defining what it is not: Adjustment is not a sign of weakness, incompetence, lack of intelligence or a mental problem. Adjustment is not a sign that you are not ready for college. Adjustment is not easy for most people, most of the time.Every adjustment experience is unique, but here are some general tips broken down into academic and social realms:Academic: Syllabi are indispensable— Read them, keep them, reference them. They can tell you how the class is structured, what the professor’s expectations are and when things are due. Plan ahead: Use a planner, calendar or scheduling app to record all due dates. Break it down:  Break down assignments into chunks and record your own mini-deadlines. This will help make potentially overwhelming assignments not as daunting and more manageable. Create structure: Living on your own means greater freedom, which can feel exciting and frightening at the same time. This is normal and to be expected. Establishing a routine can be a powerful tool in managing your time in a way that works for you.Social: Get to know your roommate: Take time to get to know them and set limits and boundaries to avoid conflicts. Connect: Many CU-Boulder students feel lonely at some time during the year. To counter this, find opportunities to meet new people. Invite others to exercise with you. Talk to at least one person in every class. Hang out in your residence hall. Eat dinner with hall mates. Join a student group. Look beyond stereotypes: Find friends who share things in common with you as well as friends who are different from you.For more academic and social adjustment tips, check out this page. Remember that these are just tips; don’t expect yourself to be perfectly adjusted and organized right away. It’s a process and it’s different for everyone. Talking about it, with your roommate, friends, RA, hall director, family member or counselor, can be helpful in sorting out how you’re feeling and what to do next. You’ll find that you’re surrounded by a lot of supportive people experiencing similar feelings. Lastly, give it time. Adapting to a new situation is difficult, so let yourself ease into it.Resources: How to Help a Friend – Want more information on adjustment or more topics? Worried about someone? This is a peer-to-peer resource to help students help each other. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) – A free counseling resource for CU-Boulder students. CAPS offers six free individual therapy sessions per academic year and free workshops and groups. They have walk-in hours M-F, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. They are located at the Center for Community (C4C) in S440. Phone (24 Hour Line): 303-492-6766.  Adjustment Resources Psychological Health and Psychiatry (PHP) – PHP is a multidisciplinary university clinic including staff from the fields of social work, nursing, psychology, psychiatry and counseling. The clinic’s aim is to provide the highest quality psychological health services in a time-efficient, clinically sound and sensitive manner, so that no student is turned away from receiving care. Students who have purchased the CU Student Gold Health Insurance are seen in the clinic without additional payment. Students without the Student Gold Health Insurance may be seen on a fee-for-service basis. Call 303-492-5654 to schedule an appointment.CAPS Events/Groups: How To Help a Friend Get Together – Join us for tea and snacks. If you have questions about resources or just want to stop by to say hello, you can find us every 3rd Tuesday of the month from 2 – 4:30 p.m. at the Foyer (near the Norlin Commons Information Desk) at the Norlin Library. The next How to Help a Friend Get Together will be on Oct. 21, from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the Norlin Library. Wellness Campaign – CAPS Wellness Campaign will be at Norlin on Thursday, Oct. 30, from 1 – 3 p.m. outreaching on the topic of alcohol and other drugs. This will be a great opportunity for you and your friends to come and get some information and free tea and cookies. Feel free to come by and spin the wheel and win CAPS giveaways.  Stress Breaks – Feeling stressed out? Overwhelmed? Stress Break is a relaxation program provided for CU-Boulder students by trained volunteers from CAPS. The volunteers provide quick tips in managing stress and then guide students through a relaxation exercise. Stress Break volunteers are available to come to residence halls, student groups, Greek chapters, classes, meetings, academic departments and anywhere that stressed-out students can be found. To request a Stress Break, please click here. Dr. Dorothy Moon will be in contact with you. Tai Chi – This class will utilize Tai Chi exercises as a way to release stress and increase a sense of calmness. It is intended to facilitate physical and psychological wellness, as well as to increase your awareness of how stress impacts your daily life, health and emotional well-being. Mondays from noon – 1 p.m., Sept. 8 – Dec. 8 in C4C room S350. Feel Good Fridays – Need a break? Want to unwind before the weekend? This drop-in group is an opportunity to be led through a powerful guided meditation to undo your stress, soothe your nervous system and feel good. Please arrive on time so the meditation is not disturbed – there will be no late admittance. You are encouraged to bring materials for your personal comfort and to aid in your meditation, e.g., yoga mat, small cushion or pillow. All groups will take place at the CU Art Museum Visual Arts Complex on Fridays from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m., Sept. 12 – Dec. 12. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img

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