With a career spanning social worker, addictions counselor, resident assistant, hall director and college professor, John O’Neill
, EdD, LCSW, LCDC, CAS, pictured, is well positioned to offer some helpful tips for the college-bound:
- Communicate with your roommate. Have reasonable expectations for the relationship. Make decisions about the room together.
- Attend class. When you attend class, you demonstrate that the work is important to you.
- Talk with your professors and express interest in the material.
- Balance class with social activities.
- Develop a study plan that works for you. Consider learning how to study outside of your room to avoid distractions.
- Pay attention to your diet and develop an exercise plan.
- If you consume alcohol, know what you are drinking.
- Have patience when sharing a bathroom, wear flip-flops and plan enough time to get ready.
- Learn all about the services and resources your campus has to offer. Spend the first week discovering the new assets available to you in your college journey.
- Ask for help.
- If you are interested in Greek life, attend rush and assess if you can balance the new college experience with joining a fraternity or sorority.
- When you get your syllabus, read it and then put all assignments on a calendar.
- In class, turn off the phone and really pay attention to the lecture.
- Know your signs that you are tired, stressed or depressed. See number 10.
- Expect that you will feel normal feelings like fear and anxiety.
- Learn that you can manage the normal feelings of a new adventure.
- Proceed slowly with new romantic relationships.
- Stay connected to family and friends.
- When you feel afraid, anxious or sad, reach out to family and friends.
- Know that college is about learning, growing and achieving your goals.
O’Neill is the clinical director for the Bellaire location of Menninger’s Outpatient Services
. He treats individuals of all ages with mental health and substance use issues.
To schedule an appointment with an outpatient clinician, call 713-275-5400